Lawn And Fancy Grasses

By Thomas Fryd

There are many grasses grown through out the country. it all depends on the climate and soil conditions your piece of real estate can provide. Here's a quick look at 5 grasses used in the landscape.

Chewing Fescue produces a fine textured. brilliant. green dense turf. The needle-like leaf blades are distinctive, being cylindrical in shape rather than flat. With adequate care only, can its true beauty be realized, however it will stand hard usage: Chewings Fescue will thrive in partial shade. It is used extensively in choice grass seed mixtures. With Creeping Bent it blends admirably, in a proportion of 80% Chewings Fescue, 20% Creeping Bent.

Creeping Bent is well known for its exceptionally fine turf-producing qualities. Its fine-bladed leaves and vigorous root system makes it admirably suited for putting greens. bowling greens, and extra fancy velvety lawns. Bent lawns should be mowed close. The turf will benefit if aired often by means of puncturing with a spiked contrivance.

Creeping Red Fescue is quite similar in appearance to Chewings Fescue. In color it is slightly darker green and in texture a shade softer. It is rapidly becoming the a popular individual grass in the Northwest because it produces a durable turf of pleasing appearance. Considerable quantities of seed are now produced in Canada and the United States. It is used with increasing popularity in choice grass seed mixtures, and is used alone for lawn durability and beauty.

Kentucky Blue Grass produces a hardy turf of rich texture. The leaves are flat and its root system is vigorous like the weeping fig tree. For hard usage lawns, Kentucky Blue grass is blended with Red Top and Creeping Bent. A well-balanced proportion is 80% Kentucky Blue, 10% Red Top, 10% Creeping Rent. For some purposes or if desired, a small percentage of White Dutch Clover is often included. They are also best surrounding a weeping fig tree.

Red Top grows fast but its life is short. It is therefore used as a nurse crop in lawn mixtures. Since it grows quickly it occupies the ground until the slower growing grasses in the mixture, form a lasting springy turf. If you blend your own grass seed mixture do not include more than 30% Red Top.

For the best grass to be used in your locale check with your county agent. - 29857

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About Roof Cleaning

By Scott Rodgers

Replacing your roof would cost a lot of money. But who would want to see a discolored, algae-rich roof? None. It can make your house unsightly. Apart from this, another thing that resides on roofs is moss. They can shorten the lifespan of your roof.

Nowadays, people are on a tight budget. Prices have been consistently rising up. Even construction materials! But every homeowner wants his home to look beautiful. So, the cheapest solution for this problem is regular cleaning and maintenance of roofs.

We all are very much concerned about the interiors of our home. We try everything to keep them in good condition but often we forget about the external areas of our home. Unfortunately, roof is one of the neglected aspects of home. Yes, cleaning and maintaining the roof can be a little tough and time consuming but it is really worth it. Below is some information that can help you with roof cleaning.

The very first thing that you should know before starting any cleaning work is, what type of roof you have. Only then you can decide what all chemicals you can use on your roof. You can even call your roofing manufacturer for the same.

Always go for non-toxic chemical solutions for cleaning your roof. Solutions like chlorine bleach can cause discoloration of the roof. It can also kill the plants. It can even corrode metals. So, your gutters and downspouts can be damaged with such chemicals.

For cleaning your roof, you can use brush, but make sure it is not too hard like steel etc. Also, do not brush your roof too hard. It can destroy the roof shingles. Even pressure washing is not recommended, if you have a shingled type roof because of the same reason. So, low pressure washing is good and a safer option for your roof.

Be very careful while doing any roofing task as it can be risky. Do wear gloves and goggles. And always wear non-skid shoes or boots.

To most people, this a heavier task to do. So if you are one of them or you do not have time to do the cleaning, call a reliable and professional roof cleaning company. They should inspect your roof first so that they can apply the necessary cleaning method. They can also check your roof if it needs replacing or any other repairs. - 29857

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Help The Environment And Save Money With Solar Energy

By James Reed

Are you looking for ways to save money and at the same time help the environment? Well there is one excellent way to cut your energy costs and help preserve the environment at the same time. Solar Energy is the answer.

Solar panels take advantage of the world's most abundant sources of energy. The sun is one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources available to us all. Our traditional source of energy, fossil fuel is non-renewable and will therefore eventually be depleted. Some scientists have projected that this could happen in just a matter of a few decades.

Solar power has been used for years. One of the more popular products is the calculator. You might have also seen it being used in such products as road construction signs, door lights and garden lights. More and more products are being developed with solar power technology.

Renewable energy sources are definitely the wave of the future. With today's technology it is getting easier and easier to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars with pollution free, naturally occurring energy. There are a number of benefits to using solar energy to power your home.

* Solar power is a renewable and green energy resource

* Solar power has no pollution

* Once your solar power system is in place, it costs almost nothing to run

* Can drastically reduce or get rid of your electric bill

* If the electric company has an interruption in power it won't affect you

* You can make money on any extra energy that you produce and don't need

* With today's easy access to information and technology it makes it much simpler to make solar panels yourself

* You can quite easily add additional solar panels if your usage increases in the future

* The value of your home will increase

A great benefit of using green energy sources is that they do not emit harmful by-products. This is the number one difference with regards to our traditional fossil fuel system that most of us use.

Think significantly lowering your electric bill is possible with solar energy? It is happening in homes all over the world today with the use of this renewable energy alternative. Households are seeing up to 80% savings on their monthly bills. Others are able to live completely off the grid thanks to this free source of energy.

Installation of a commercially purchased solar energy system can be quite expensive. However, building your own solar panel system these days can be very easy and a whole lot less money. Over the last few years the technology has improved enabling the regular home owner to be able to build their own system cheaply and easily.

With the use of a really good how to guide from the internet you can follow their easy to understand instructions one step at a time to build your solar panel system. Even if you are not a handy type of person, you will be able to follow the instructions to get your system together in just one weekend. And for under $200, the return on your investment is huge.

Saving money and protecting the planet are two of the things on people's minds these days. Taking the time to build your own solar panel energy system is one of the greatest ways to help with both of these goals. The continual increase in the price of oil and electricity is a really good motivator for all of us to start doing more to conserve energy. The amount of money that you can save by utilizing our most readily available natural resource will amaze you. - 29857

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Georgia Moving Tips - How To Prepare To Move When Selling Your Home

By Amy Stevens

As humans we all conceive that planning a large move to a totally new neighborhood is normally largely mind numbing. You should get in touch with a a lot of Atlanta moving companies, trying to find the best possible Atlanta movers, making decisions for making your move and getting ready for a lot of you and your families utilities to be arranged to be disconnected in the last house you and your family are residing in and likewise connected in your new dwelling. This is the same for your car insurance as it will change your rates when you move. You must think with so very much unfolding daily, you could also almost always forget about getting ready your property you are selling which is a pretty deal breaking mistake to make anymore.

Without having the good preparation and planning set up, you may not have the ability to sell your property for the price point that you would like. Look, here are a couple tactics you could without a worry do to quickly make your current home as presentable as it could be with the bit of time allotted, during the section of time you are making your attempt to get awesome moving companies in Atlanta and maintaining your moving budget.

Maintaining very clean carpets and wood of your homes floors is extremely crucial for selling your home on the market these days. A lot of times it is mostly about your home presentation, and definitely one of the more persuading things you will need to do is to make sure to wash your floors and carpeting. But if your present carpet in your house is not in grand shape, you could only need to rent a brand name spot removal tool from a local store in Atlanta. So if your carpeting is sadly older and extremely soiled, you may want to possibly consider renting or finding a carpet cleaning and also shampooing machine or possibly even hire some top notch carpet cleaning companies within the area of Atlanta.

This idea can always be worth every little bit of the time and effort. Now if you happen to have very high quality hardwood floors, only they appear quite a bit some what dull or terribly scratched, just apply a quick coat of good quality floor wax or rent a good floor polishing machine to very quickly bring back that original loveliness. Never forget to also handle your room walls being that most paint can become spotted quite easily. This could be some what important if you have resided in your property for a long. So, in case were the bedrooms and bathrooms aren?t in terrible viewing condition, just cover any chips if you could get away with that.

Cleaning the kitchen and bathroom and overhauling any leaking pipes or kitchen faucets should also be very key to selling the house. Of course mildew seems to grow very fast in in a lot of places in your home. Never forget that the first impressions are so crucial in selling your home.

Totally get rid of the visible clutter out of your home even though you have started packing your things, always be sure to sift every single bit of your clutter and trash to a totally non-visible section of the property or to a good storage facility near by your Atlanta, your 1st impression is key when you are contemplating to give tours of the dwelling to your important property seekers.

Be sure to try to keep your lovely kitchen surfaces shiny and free of all silverware. Maybe keep at least water and soft drinks right inside the refrigerator and offer beverages when throwing home open house. - 29857

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Lilac - Giving A Good Air Outdoor

By Kent Higgins

Many folks think of the lilac as being an all-American shrub because it is grown in every state.

There are many reasons why it is so popular. First, it is easy to grow. It is not at all fussy as to type of soil, and it thrives in either full sun or partial shade. After it has become established, it requires but little care and will grow and bloom for generations.

Another reason is its great versatility. It makes a magnificent individual specimen plant, goes well in a shrub border and is excellent in a tall flowering screen. Of course, the most noticeable reason why a lilac is so popular is its lovely fragrant flower. A few plants in full bloom in early spring perfume an entire neighborhood; or just a few flowers brought indoors will add a sweetness to the entire home.

Lilacs may be planted successfully either in early spring or in the fall. When you plant them, be sure to give them plenty of room as they will make a rather large shrub six to eight feet tall and nearly six feet across. If you plant them too close together, they will tend to be tall and rangy and will not develop into a neat compact shrub. Most varieties begin blooming the second or third year after planting and within a few years produce a gorgeous shrub covered with lovely flowers in early spring.

Colors of lilac flowers range from pure white to deep violet, with shades of pink, lilac, lavender, blue and red. All of the colors are rich and pleasing; yet they blend together beautifully and sometimes mixed with purple shower plant. This means that you can mix varieties in shrub plantings without worrying about color conflict just like what i did with my purple shower plant. Two or three of the finest varieties in each color class are listed below.

There are many hundreds of varieties of lilacs, all of them beautiful, but some which we feel are better than others. Check out the varieties are in commercial production, and are available for purchase from your nursery. - 29857

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A Conservatory is More than Just a Room

By John Mills

With continuing economic uncertainty foreign holidays are becoming more of a luxury than ever and families are looking for other ways to enjoy their summer. Adding a conservatory to your home, in the long run, can save you money, increase the value of your property and provide you with a place to relax and enjoy the summer from your own home.

The positive personal impact of gardening cannot be overstated. From the sheer beauty of the plants, to the tranquility and sense of accomplishment growing plants can bring, a conservatory can make a huge contribution to the quality of life enjoyed by its owners.

Whilst many enjoy gardening, frustration can creep in when there is only a limited variety of shrubbery that the climate in your area will allow. However, a conservatory can increase the range of plants you can nurture with the controlled temperature it provides.

Eating fresh vegetables is a large part of living a healthy life. In modern supermarkets, there are some difficulties associated with getting these healthy vegetables. Anyone who has bought vegetables out of season is aware that the cost of doing so can be astronomical. A conservatory can allow the growing of vegetables for a fraction of the price.

Conservatories are a multiple use addition. It is very simple to add passive solar heating or electricity production to a conservatory. The wise home owner who takes advantage of this possibility can simultaneously reduce his or her costs and reduce the environmental impact he or she causes simply by living life.

Conservatories are often viewed as a luxury that, especially in the current economic climate, many think they cannot afford. However, the addition of a conservatory to your home may prove to be a wise economic decision. There is potential for long term money opportunities that would not otherwise be available without a conservatory.

Today we depend upon large supermarket chains to provide our food. However, with the future sustainability of the planet in question we can save money and increase sustainability by begging to grow our own produce. Conservatories are a great help to begin saving money and growing our own food.

As well as offering an escape from a noisy household, providing sheltered enjoyment of your garden area and adding further space to your property a conservatory can help save money and increase the quality of life you enjoy in your home. - 29857

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Buying The Correct Lawn Mower

By Kevin Young

You have finally made the big move out of an apartment in the city to a home in the suburbs. You love your new home with your own space outside. The trees and flowers are growing nicely, but there is one problem, management has not cut the grass in weeks. You suddenly realize, you are management and it is time to get a lawn mower.

Down at the home improvement store you find that there are many mowers from which to choose.

If you lawn is small, you may be able to get away with a manual lawn mower. They are very quiet to operate and require no fuel or power. They do require that you supply all the energy needed to mow your grass. These mowers are some of the most gentle at cutting grass available. You may need to mow more than once a week during the growing season as these mowers do not do well with tall grass.

For a somewhat larger lawn, you could choose a lawn mower with a gasoline engine. They take less energy to push and do a good job at cutting grass. Most have a pull rope for starting which is sometime a problem for people who lack the proper strength to start the mower.

These gasoline mowers come in various cutting widths, usually between eighteen and twenty two inches. While the smaller mowers are the easiest to push, the larger ones cut the grass at a quicker pace.

For even easier mowing, choose a self-propelled mower. The gasoline engine that turns the blade also can turn the wheels so all you need to do is walk behind the mower and steer the mower.

If you happen to live in a community that has rules restricting the use of gasoline mowers or have difficulty starting or pushing a gasoline mower, you may find that an electric mower is a better choice. These mowers are very quiet when operating and easy to push. There is no starting required. The only drawback is that you will have to have a long enough power cord to operate the mower. Many operators have made the mistake of mowing over the power cord and cutting it with the mower.

For larger lawns, you may choose a riding lawn mower. Riding mowers often cut a thirty six to fifty inch swath each pass. They leave the lawn with a very smooth appearance that is not always possible with other mowers. In addition, riding mowers may be used to pull small trailers to carry other landscaping materials. Riding mowers are the most expensive of the mowers.

Since you are now a homeowner with a lawn to care for, you need to be sure that you purchase the correct lawn mower. If you get the correct mower, mowing the lawn does not have to be a chore but can become a part of the joy of owning your own home. You can take pride in the lawn that you take care of by yourself. - 29857

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Tips and Tricks for Arranging Flowers

By Amy Nutt

Flowers are one type of plant that is loved by almost all people. They make wonderful home decor as well eye-catching adornments to the outside of the home. To make flowers even more pleasing to the eye, many people choose to arrange them in beautiful and unique ways. Arranging flowers is not a difficult task to learn. All that you need is a little imagination and creativity.

The following is a list of tips and tricks to arranging flowers:

1. When arranging flowers choose the colors that you find appealing. Colors that display joyfulness and vibrancy include bright colors such as red, yellow, and blue. If you are looking for an arrangement that reflects a season such as Fall, use orange, brown and a dark deep red.

2. There are different types of flowers you can work with. You can use fresh flowers, dry flowers or artificial flowers. For the type of flower you choose, you will need floral foam. Green water-retaining foam is used for fresh flowers and flora. Brown foam is used for dried or artificial flowers. For fresh flowers, soak the foam in warm water with plant food. For dry and artificial flowers, you do not soak the foam. You just have to add glue to the foam to make sure they stick to the container that they are placed in.

3. Once you have placed the foam in the container and it is secure, place short pieces of bushy greenery along the base to cover the sponge. For dry flowers, you can use floral tape to cover the foam and lay heavy flowers along the base. For traditional arrangements, always cut your floral foam about 1" higher than the rim of the container. This will allow plants to be arranged naturally.

4. When arranging, use the largest and heaviest flowers along the base. Arrange one flower at a time. Shorten the stems as necessary. Arrange them like a pyramid or ball shape. Make sure the shape is smooth and edges even. The flowers should face outwards and at an appropriate angle. Use a knife to slant and shape the stems. A sharp edge knife is needed to make a sharp smooth cut that will permit water to enter the flower stems. Do not bunch the flowers. Fill in extra holes with some long greens. Make sure the greens don't clump together. Smaller blooms can be grouped to make a unique appearance. Group flowers freely by arranging them close to each other.

5. It is important to remember that some flowers dry up before others, so if you want the arrangement to last a long time, pick flowers that last long. Some flowers that last a long time are carnations and roses. The fresh flowers should be watered every few days, Flowers such as Babys Breath make the entire display more stylish and striking. If some of the flowers die earlier then the others you can remove and replace them with some other fresh flowers. Scented flowers can be overwhelming in small confined areas. The dried and artificial flower arrangement should last.

6. Other additions that make the flower arrangement look elegant include corn, fruits, berries, and much more.

Arranging flowers is a fun and creative way to add life and vibrancy to a home. - 29857

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Easy To Grow Half-Hardy Annuals

By Thomas Fryd

Here are 5 Half-Hardy annuals which are easily grown and an be started or sown outdoors during May.

Antirrhinum (Snapdragon)

Universal favorites for bedding display or for cutting. Gorgeous flowers are freely produced for several months. Be sure that you pinch out the growing point when the plants are about 3 inches high. This will encourage a bushy habit. Sow seed late in the summer in cold frames if you want blossoms when no one else has them. Winter them over in the frames and set into the garden as soon as the soil can be worked. Grow creeping varieties for the rockery, dwarf varieties (1 ft.) for bedding and tall varieties (3 ft.) for display. Set the tall ones in borders. Group them in clumps.


Asters commence to bloom about the middle of August. Grow them in beds and in borders and there let them flourish until the first frost. They are easily raised from seed. They can be started under glass or they can be sown in the open about the middle of May. Read about them online or in seed catalogs and thank the plant breeders for the many types now available. Be sure that you try a few Dwarf Asters and those with full crested blossoms. Asters prefer a rich soil. They must not be grown crowded. Dwarf sorts should be spaced at least 10 inches each way. Tall varieties (2 ft.) space 18" inches apart.


If early blossoms are required start the seed late in January under glass. Grow on in cold frames and set into the garden towards the end of March. Pansies do well in cool weather and like a little shade. Pick blossoms often. Do not let them run to seed. The more you pick the longer they will bloom.

Start seed also in a cold frame in August. Winter over in frames and set into the garden early in spring. Old plants should be cut back to within 1-1/2 inches of the crown. Do this at the end of the season. The plants will produce new growth from the crowns and flower another year.


It actually is preferable to start Petunias under glass. Grow them for display in borders, in beds, in window boxes and in pots. For color throughout the summer in large rockeries, they are wonderfully well adapted. If you love butterfly bush plant you can actually induce the bushy habit. Just don't forget to pinch out the growing point when the plants as in butterfly bushes.


Being native of Mexico Zinnias thrive on heat, Give them a rich deep soil and water as needed. Varieties are many and all are interesting and easy to grow. You can have compact dwarf double Zinnias with quilled and twisted petals, Zinnias with giant double flattened blossoms or with double deeply developed blossoms. Some kinds are two toned whilst others are tipped with color contrast. They all have a place in the garden from the giants down to the tiny double baby sorts. If you want to grow extra big blossoms feed the plants judiciously and remove all the blossoms but a few. Don't forget that you can sow the seed in the open during late May or you can start seed under glass for earlier flowers. - 29857

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The Blue Dendrobium Orchid is a Stunning Addition to Any Setting

By Sarah Duke

It's quite amazing how the appeal of the blue dendrobium orchid is rising at such a fast pace. Then again, maybe it is not so astounding. It forms gorgeous and long-lasting flowers in dramatic tones of blue and is a beautiful addition to any flower display. It's also a favorite of many orchid growers, and it is interesting to note that this lovely flower is becoming a highly stylish house plant too.

The blue dendrobium boasts a rich history. It is native to the Philippines where it thrives as a native species. It's fairly comparable in looks to particular moths that flutter all around in the wilds of that country. However a transformation has occurred in the blue dendrobium that is offered in recent years in comparison with the traditional flowers that grow in their natural habitat. The present-day variety is a cross that's actually a great deal more bold in color than its long-established forerunner.

The blue dendrobium orchid is actually rather rare and there are a few types that are even threatened. This is mostly because their natural environs have been spoiled. However you can cultivate this striking orchid in your own home provided that you have purpose, persistence and the correct knowledge concerning how to grow these blooms.

In terms of growing the blue dendrobium orchid, you must be sure to follow one simple rule. The hotter it is, the more water you need to offer it; and the cooler the temperature, the less watering is required. This may seem obvious; however the fact is that you have to change your watering schedule based on the time of year. Throughout the summer you will have to water these plants about every five days, or less, but in wintertime you can hold off up to 12 days between waterings.

Of course, if you don't possess the time or persistence to raise the blue dendrobium orchid you can always buy them from countless florists, both online and off. You can get just-cut blue dendrobiums in a choice of shades. They make a magnificent enhancement to a bridal bouquet, and moreover are a very appealing centerpiece for the wedding reception, or even as a lovely flower arrangement for your house. - 29857

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Tips for an Easy Pumpkin Soup Recipe

By Kc Kudra

If you are like a lot of us, you end up with some extra pumpkin after Thanksgiving or Halloween, and you are not sure exactly what to do with it. After all, there are only so many pies you can make! Fortunately, there are lots of other options, and some important information that could help you make wonderful pumpkin dishes, every time.

While most people stick to plain old pumpkin desserts, there are lots more options out there. Let us take a look at some of the things you should know about the pumpkin before you get started cooking. You will have a lot more luck!

The first thing you should know is that Halloween jack-o-lantern types of pumpkins are not a great choice for fall recipe use. Unfortunately, these large, sturdy specimens are bred for their looks, toughness, and regular appearance, not for their edibility. They tend to be fibrous and low on taste.

These kinds of pumpkins can be very tempting to people look for a great deal on pie ingredients, particularly right after Halloween. However, they are not a great choice for eating, though they compost well and can be fun to feed to the squirrels and other wildlife. The flesh is tough and fibrous, and not very strongly flavored.

That does not mean you cannot eat them at all, but it is a good idea to "hide" this type of pumpkin in other foods. Cook your surplus pumpkin down by baking or boiling it, scrape the pulp out of the shell, and blitz it in a food processor once or twice. Then put it in pumpkin bread, cookies, or even chili.

For foods where you want that pumpkin taste to shine through, like pumpkin pie or an easy pumpkin soup recipe, look for smaller sugar pumpkins. Chock full of potassium, vitamin A and fiber, these pumpkins have a lot more flavor, are much sweeter, and have smoother, more pleasant flesh. They are often used for desserts, but work for any meal where you want the flavor of pumpkin to be a major player.

Use pumpkins in chunks for your pumpkin soup, or cook them in it and puree them with some broth for a silky texture that cannot be beat. There are even a few recipes that call for cooking the soup right in the pumpkin, then stirring the softened flesh off the walls to create your soup. It all depends on what you prefer. Just make sure that you process your pumpkin with care to prevent it from cooking incorrectly and spoiling the recipe.

Pumpkin is a great choice for making soup, and a whole lot more. By paying attention to the type of pumpkin, you have and making sure that you cook it correctly, you will have a much better chance of getting a great fall meal. Try all the great options for making pumpkin soup, and do not forget to buy the right kind of pumpkin. - 29857

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Learn How To Unclog Drains

By Scott Rodgers

Plumbing issues are common at homes and clogged drains are the most common plumbing problem faced by a home owner. But it is not that difficult to fix as it sounds. Below are some easy methods that you can try yourself before calling a professional plumber.

A very simple solution is to try the combination of baking soda and vinegar. They are easily available at homes and are also better than those harsh caustic drain cleaners in the market. Butu before using them, try to remove the standing water fro the sink.

Now put in half a cup of baking soda followed by half cup of vinegar. Leave them for sometime. They together react to create a foaming action and can help loosening many clogs.

If this does not work you will have to resort to more aggressive measures. One simple method is to use a regular bathroom plunger. When plunging make sure you have enough water in the sink to fully cover the plunger. Also be sure to cover the overflow opening in the sink or tub, because if you do not, much of the plunging pressure will be lost through that opening.

You can also try using a cloth hanger. Open the hanger to make it a long straight metal wire. Bend either of it side a little to form a hook to catch the clog. Push it down the drain, turn it and try catching the clog with the hook.

If you do manage to catch it you can pull it out with the hook. Once you have pulled out enough material run some more water in to see if it is working any better. If it does seem to be improving you might try the plunging technique again.

If none of the above mentioned steps help you out, you can try some other plumbing tools such as an auger. It is a more complicated tool than a plunger and you should know how to use it properly, otherwise it is always better to call a professional plumber who can fix the problem for you.

Plumbing is an important part of your home and so it s very important to find the right plumber for your home. It can be a bit time consuming but will prove to be beneficial for you in the end. You can ask for references from friends and neighbors which will save your time. You can also do some amount of research on the in internet. - 29857

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Hiring A Roofing Contractor

By Scott Rodgers

Roofs protect us from the external elements and the harsh weather conditions, so these weather elements can damage the roof very easily. Small leaks or worn out shingles require roof repairs or even more than that.

What all steps to be taken to handle the roof damage will completely depend on the extent to which the roof has been damaged and what type of damage is it. It is always better to consult a professional roofing contractor in such a situation as he will be able to tell you exactly what needs to be done.

Roofing contractors are very talented people in this domain and will tell you the right solution for the situation. If your roof is a twenty year old roof but you do not notice any major damaging signs, you should still contact a roofer as there can be some repairs due.

Roofing contractors should be called in at the first deterioration signs. They are professionals who will assess your roof status correctly and will determine the best solution for you, either roof repairs or re-roofing.

It is always advisable to go for well trained and certified roofers for your home roofing project. As roofing is a big task, it requires skilled hands. Certified roofers are proficient workers and are masters in this domain and can handle any kind of task easily, be it repair or entire roof replacement.

Here are a few important points that you must take care before employing any one. The very first thing is, you should ask for written estimates from the roofers. Different roofers have different charges depending upon the project. So, you should have at least three estimates to compare and decide.

Another step is checking out the roofing contractors work. So, you should ask the contractor for a list of the projects they have completed successfully in your area.

Checking the previous work of the roofer is very important. Apart from that do ask about the warranties, insurance cover, the estimated time to complete the project so that you can get a clear picture about everything. - 29857

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The Ultimate Outdoor Picnic Guide

By Byron Jonas

Our great Australian nation is full of outdoors lovers with big appetites, which together can only mean one thing: that we are the land of picnics. And in light of the fact that our natural scenery is among the most prized and visited in the planet, bringing millions of tourists to our shores on a yearly basis, our propensity for outdoor picnicking is only that much more resolute.

Out of honor for this nationally endorsed pastime, here we've put together a simple checklist that will surely help anybody looking to enjoy some quality time in the outdoors with family and friends put together an unforgettable and incomparable picnic.

First of all, a good destination is in order: a picnic can only really be as good as the surroundings in which it is carried out, so be sure to find an inviting venue. Given our country's natural endowments, this is perhaps the easiest item on the picnic checklist.

Next up on the list is what to eat: after all, a picnic implies filling bellies, or at least that's what it ought to imply. One traditional and classic option is simply to put together some sandwiches and other such fingerfood items and cram them all into a basket or a cooler, as the food requires, which is perfectly acceptable and is sure to put smiles on people's faces if done properly. Otherwise, there is always the option of packing a portable grill into the back of your vehicle along with a little charcoal and preparing some steaks and shrimp on the traditional Aussie barbie--sure to provoke serious appetites and put gigantic grins on participants' faces.

It goes without saying that a picnic demands the participants to engage in some sort of physical exercise, which means that it is fundamental to bring along a rugby or football, a frisbee, or cricket bat--whatever you fancy. Your sandwiches, or more emphatically your steak and shrimp, will demand that you go ahead and work up a healthy appetite beforehand, so be sure to wear yourself out a bit.

Next, in a country with as much viticulture as ours, it's a perfectly good idea to pack a bottle or two of wine into your picnic basket. Whereas a picnic on a relatively cool day will oblige you to bring along a comforting and filling wine such as a Pinot Noir, a picnic on a scorching summer day will be simply begging you to pack a chilled white wine like a Chardonnay.

Finally, any good picnic requires a good amount of protection from the sun and the elements. While bringing a bottle of sunscreen is in order, there are better ways to find some refuge from the relentless southern sun and further natural conditions, such as with a quality Marquees.

These instant outdoor shelters come in many different varieties, many of which require minimal effort in order to erect them. They not only protect against the sun but furthermore against the wind and even water, depending on the weather that besets your picnic. With rugged walls and roofing made from durable PVC and equally tough aluminum frames and nylon brackets, these Marquees will offer countless years of protection. With capacity for several picnickers, they can be erected in no time at all--about a minute to be precise. And thanks to their clever telescopic legs and easily fold-able design, they can be quickly and tidily squeezed into a carrier bag, guaranteeing total convenience in use. - 29857

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How To Make This Year A Topnotch Garden With Bright Flowers

By Thomas Fryd

If you're a Northwesterner or a Northern Californian, put those dreaded memories of spring flood conditions behind you. Determine now to make this the year for a topnotch garden with bright flowers, finer shrubs and greener lawns.

Make this a year of changes. Dont be content with the same old flowers of yesteryear. Take a good look at the flower seed stands at your neighborhood seed store and select lots of those brightly colored packets.

One way to prevent your garden from looking just like every other garden in the block is to select some of the less familiar annuals.

The "big three" - petunias, marigolds and zinnias - may be planted heavily, but at the same time be adventurous and try plants such as the exotic bells of Ireland, linaria and nemesia (especially good for covering a bed where spring bulbs are planted), appealing dwarf dahlias, fast-growing cosmos for hedge effects, and mixed gourds for their wonderful harvest of curiously shaped fruits in the fall.

The cool weather annuals such as calendula, sweet alyssum, larkspur and nasturtium, can be sown in the open ground now. The seeds will germinate quickly if the ground is kept moist.

But theres more to March gardening than seed planting. Its the time to finish planting roses; begin to do the spring pruning; plan for summer bulbs; start spraying or dusting the garden for disease and insect control; and sow some backyard vegetable crops.

Timing of these jobs depends on the region you live in. If youre gardening in the Southwest, youre probably up to your ears in chores right now. But as you go northward to the Canadian line, the pace slows down. But in these areas, too, once the ground warms up, gardening will start in earnest.

How is your lawn?

Except in the colder spots of the Northwest where the soil usually cannot be worked, March has always been an ideal lawn planting month. Then it is warm enough for the seed to germinate rapidly yet early enough in the season for the grass to develop into a thick, healthy turf before the summer heat arrives. If you are starting a new lawn, dig the soil to a depth of 6 to 12 inches.

Better than digging, of course, is a mechanical tiller. This piece of equipment will pay for itself because it does so many other jobs, in addition to preparing a lawn site. At least look at renting one!

Remove all rocks from the soil and then roll it. The usual advice at this point is to sow the grass seed. However, youll find it worthwhile to soak the soil instead, to encourage the weed seed to germinate. Then you can dispatch the weed seedlings with a chemical weed killer like Round-Up. Ten to twelve days later you can plant your grass seed, with a lot more confidence and the knowledge that a few weeks hence you wont be on your knees pulling out unwanted weeds. The secret of getting a lawn off to a good start is to keep the seed bed moist.

Children should share in the spring gardening enthusiasm, too. Give them a spot to grow some nasturtiums and some radishes, and you may win a garden convert for life. Its true that theres nothing new about nasturtiums or radishes, yet their very speed of growth means they must have been designed to win the hearts of young gardeners. In 21 days from sowing, the youngsters will be eating plump red radishes. In 35 - 40 theyll have good-sized nasturtium plants and a couple of weeks later, incredulous bouquets of honey-loaded nasturtium blooms. Part of the fun of growing nasturtiums is to suck the nectar from the base of each flower after the tip has been pinched off.

Your backyard vegetable garden design and plan can be started now. Outdoors, radishes, spinach, peas and parsley can be sowed. Indoors, sow early cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, celery, eggplant and, in the Northwest, lettuce. In most coastal areas with lawn irrigation system California lettuce can be planted outdoors practically the year round.

Perennials that can be divided now include most of those blooming after June. Some of these are Shasta daisies, campanulas, helenium and rudbeckias. Some perennials, such as peonies, appreciate being left alone for twenty years or more. But generally speaking, its time to use the dividing knife on most perennials about the third year.

Transvaal daisies, though hailing from South Africa, will withstand Northwest winters west of the Cascades as long as the soil drains well. In the other sunny, warm parts of the West, Transvaal daisies really thrive. Set out husky young plants now. The blooms are available in all colors and are excellent for cutting. - 29857

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How Long The Foam Roof Insulation Will Last?

By Scott Rodgers

If a roof insulation is perfect it minimizes the heat and the corresponding cooling expenses. If you step into the market you will find several kinds of roof insulation material there by making the choice for the right one more difficult. If a home has a well insulated roof then you will feel warm during the winters and cool during the summers. Thus the basic requirement for your home is the quality roof insulation.

Very easily the foam roofing insulation can be spread on the roof. This foam roof insulation is considered to be better as they do not leak in small amount of time. Basically this foam roof insulation does not require much maintenance and it does not waste much even.

As there is no specific type of surface where the foam roofing can be used, it makes it more capable for most parts in the world. It controls the temperature inside the house better. The house lasts longer as the foam roofing weighs less.

The foam roofs can be repaired easily. There is no need to hire more labor for doing the job and if there is a leak, it is much easier to locate and fix as the boundary will keep the water isolated around the leak.

This foam roof insulation generally saves energy proficiently as compared to other types of roofs. The longevity period of foam roofs is considered to be about fifty years, which is normally a very long time for a roof. It means it banks you more. Without causing any harm you can even walk on foam roof insulation. The price is less as compared to other types of roofing. It is completely dependent on the complexity of the roof and the thickness area.

In the foam roof insulation the foam is sprayed into the area needing insulation, where it immediately starts to expand and fills up the available space.

The job of foam roof insulation must be carried out by an expert as it involves the employment of particular chemicals and shielded gear. Due to the heavy composition, it is bit more costly than the normal insulation.

If you are considering purchasing a foam roof than you purchase foam roof insulation because it will not only save you money but it will also save you plenty of time to do other things as well. - 29857

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Points To Remember When Installing The Rain Water Gutter On A Roof

By Scott Rodgers

Basically gutters are used to pass on the rain water from the roof of your house or buildings. It is necessary to have a properly fitted gutter, as these gutters are responsible to flow the rain water very far away from your residence. Hence it checks the bad smell that could be generated by the still water in your periphery and maintains your house clean.

Fitting a gutter is not a very tough job; you can make it on your own. For fitting a gutter the fundamental requirement is exact planning, knowing how about the gutter installation and having basic important tools beside you.

Take a look at your house and determine the spot to install rain gutters. See that you select such a spot, which will catch the rain water from the roof and direct it somewhere away from the house.

The rain water gutters is very harmful mainly during the cold season where there is a possibility of freezing. Ice is a very heavy item and can destroy the gutters from the roof which in result create leaks that will destroy the house. But the happiest part is that the rainwater gutter can be fixed and it is a very simple job, mainly when you identify it at an early stage.

The rain gutter should be chosen in such a way that along with utility it should increase the beauty of the house as it is installed outside and becomes a part of the exterior of the house.

There are several kinds of materials available to make the rain gutter. Those materials popularly used are copper, stainless steel, aluminum and vinyl. The lowest price being the vinyl pipes but the aluminum pipes are sturdy as they are not easily prone by the climatic conditions. But go for the material that best fits your wallet.

Ensure that the gutter is placed in the area where the water will be collected not in where the water is draining. Gutters use gravity and slopes to assist rainwater to find a downspout. At times, if there is a large twig or leaf matter gets entangled in the gutter, then the gutter will detach itself slightly from the roof and then sag. This sag disrupts the gutter and as a result the rainwater gets collected and rather possibly to run over instead of draining.

Ideally, the gutters should be cleaned in every six months, thus lessening the drain pipes to get clogged easily. - 29857

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Buying The Correct Lawn Mower

By Kevin Young

You have finally made the big move out of an apartment in the city to a home in the suburbs. You love your new home with your own space outside. The trees and flowers are growing nicely, but there is one problem, management has not cut the grass in weeks. You suddenly realize, you are management and it is time to get a lawn mower.

There are several types of lawn mowers available and what you choose depends on where you live.

If you have a small lawn, you may find that a push mower that has no power other than what you supply does great. These lawn mowers have the advantage of actually cutting the lawn with a scissor action and help to avoid the brown tips at the ends of the blades of grass. One disadvantage is that mowing must be done regularly as these mowers do not do well in tall grass.

For a larger lawn, you may want to add power to that lawn mower. One of the easiest ways to do that is to add a gasoline motor. Gasoline mowers take less of your energy and are excellent at cutting grass. If taken care of, they are dependable for a long time.

These gasoline mowers come in various cutting widths, usually between eighteen and twenty two inches. While the smaller mowers are the easiest to push, the larger ones cut the grass at a quicker pace.

To make the job even less work, you can choose a self-propelled mower. These mowers use energy from the gasoline motor to power the wheels. All you have to do is walk behind and steer the mower.

If you happen to live in a community that has rules restricting the use of gasoline mowers or have difficulty starting or pushing a gasoline mower, you may find that an electric mower is a better choice. These mowers are very quiet when operating and easy to push. There is no starting required. The only drawback is that you will have to have a long enough power cord to operate the mower. Many operators have made the mistake of mowing over the power cord and cutting it with the mower.

For a very large lawn, you should choose a riding lawn mower. Riding mowers cut very wide swaths. They give lawns a much smoother appearance than is available with many other mowers. Additionally, they can pull small trailers in order to transport landscaping materials from one area to another. Riding mowers are the most expensive of the lawnmowers.

With a home in the suburbs, you have new responsibilities and one of those responsibilities is the care of your lawn. Mowing the grass is a regular weekly task that will take time out of you schedule. Many homeowners find that a beautiful lawn is a source of pride and they come to enjoy the care that goes into keeping that lawn green and looking great. - 29857

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Other Garden Color Plant Perennials And Biennials

By Thomas Fryd

Hardy Perennials

Unlike annuals, perennials are more or less permanent, flowering annually from the same plants, and do not require to be resown or replanted each season. Seedling perennials, as a general rule, are more vigorous than plants propagated by means of divisions, cutting, etc. They need a longer period of growth to come to maturity than do the annuals, and may be sown from early spring to early autumn, according to their various requirements.

A fairly rich and well prepared seed bed should be made in a sheltered and sunny position, and the seed sown thinly in drills, watering the drills before sowing if the soil is dry.

As a rule, no further watering is necessary, but should a dry spell set in when the plants are tiny like the dwarf banana, it is wise to water them as they need it. Keep free from weeds and pests, and when large enough to handle transplant them carefully to a bed. In October, or alternatively in early spring, according to the size of plants and weather and soil conditions, move them to their permanent quarters.

Unless a large number of plants dwarf banana tree is required, the nursery bed may be dispensed with altogether, that is, provided the seedlings are well thinned out in their early stages. Indeed, an early thinning should be done in any case so as to ensure sturdy seedlings. Most perennials may also be raised in flats in a cold frame or cold house, pricking them off into other flats as soon as large enough to handle and planting them out when ready in the open border.

Some such method is advisable where a prepared seed bed cannot be made out-of-doors or where the depredations of garden pests are feared. Probably most amateur growers will find the flat treatment the most satisfactory way of raising their perennials. Unless the seedlings can be transplanted outdoors by the end of September, at the latest, it is always advisable to winter them in their boxes in a cold frame, transplanting them outdoors the following spring.

Hardy Biennials

The cultural treatment of biennials is very similar to that of the hardy perennials, but they differ from the latter in the respect that they are of little or no use after flowering once. Consequently they need replacement every season. They include such popular bedding subjects as Wallflowers, Canterbury Bells, etc. It is best to sow them in late spring or early summer, in flats in a coldframe. Transplant the seedlings to their flowering quarters before the end of September. If this cannot he done winter them in boxes in a coldframe. - 29857

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Garage Door Springs - A Dangerous & Powerful Home Mechanisms

By Adam Stranton

Garage door springs are the mechanisms that open the garage doors. There are two kinds: extension springs and torsion springs, with the latter being the most dangerous ones.

Lighter doors such as sectional doors and one-piece tilt up garage doors use extension springs. These extension springs are hung on top of the door, with the other end at the back of the upper track. Although extension springs are safer to work with as compared to torsion springs, they still pose significant danger to homeowners trying to fix them.

On the other hand, doors that weigh more (like sectional doors) use torsion springs. On each door, a torsion spring is used on both sides. Garage doors involving the use of a torsion spring always need professional help for installation or repair, because they have been known to cause severe injuries, and certain deaths as well.

Handling a garage door that uses torsion springs is a serious matter. Such a garage door weighs a massive 300-400 pounds, and surely, springs that handle such weight are capable of extreme compression and extension. It is to be noted that such instruments have had a history of imparting serious head injury.

It is advised to actually never stand below the garage door while it's opening or closing. It is also important to place the button which opens and closes your garage door, high enough where children cannot reach it. Children love to push buttons, as well as, they love to open/close garage doors. Placing the buttons out of a child's reach will help prevent horrible accidents, caused by garage door springs or the door itself.

It is advisable to keep a check on the conditions of your garage door springs regularly, as they do tend to get worn out with time. At the time of replacing one damaged spring, it is recommended to replace the second one too, because the first one getting rusty means the second will follow suit.

Installing or repairing your springs will cost anywhere from $75 to $350, so be sure to shop around to get the best deal.

When the door is closed, that's when the springs are most tightly compressed. So, if the springs fail during this time, no one is liable to get injured as the door will remain closed. However, significant threat is posed in case the springs fail when the garage door is open. When this happens, any unfortunate person or object right under the door can fall a victim to severe injury. In a way, it is advisable for people or objects to never stand under the garage door even when it is smoothly operational.

The life-span depends on the quality of the spring, as well as on the amount of usage, on the maintenance, as well as whether this garage spring fits the size, height and weight of the door.

Your garage door and springs must be kept well maintained at all times. It is important to carry out regular inspection and examination, because that can not only help detect any potential causes of failure, but also because garage door mechanisms are dangerous and demand more attention. Irrespective of whatever kind of springs are used by your garage door, remember to maintain them well and hence prevent any unfortunate accidents, because safety always comes first. - 29857

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Enhance Your Environment with a Solar Water Fountain

By Jim Navary

Twenty years ago solar powered devices were seen as experimental and were quite expensive. Except for small items such as watches and calculators, solar power was an option for only a few large scale, expensive devices. Recently, however, relatively cheap solar panels make solar power a practical option for many common devices. Since their introduction, solar water fountains have become quite popular as enhancements to both outdoor garden and indoor decor.

Solar Water Fountains Are Environmentally Friendly

The negative environmental impact of electrical power generation by the burning of fossil fuels has been well documented. Obviously, the more electrically powered luxuries you have, the more electrical power you will use. Although garden fountains place only moderate demands on the power grid, that demand is constant. The more non-renewable energy that is saved, the less demand there will be for additional power generation. The "green" option of switching over non-essential electrical demands to solar sources provides a definite benefit to the environment.

Solar Fountains Reduce Dependence on Commercial Power Sources

When summer weather arrives people begin using additional electrically powered items ranging from outdoor lights to electric coolers. In addition, the wide-spread use of air conditioning creates a significant drain on the power grid. If you've ever experienced a "brown out" on a sweltering summer day, you have felt the effects of power usage overload. By using a solar powered water fountain, rather than a conventionally powered fountain, you are doing your part to reduce the overall load on the local power grid without having to sacrifice the relaxing effects of a water fountain.

Solar Water Fountains Are Easily Transported

Since solar fountains are entirely self contained, there is no need to place them close to a household power outlet or to trip over the clutter of extension cords. As a result, relocating a solar fountain to a different location is much simpler than relocating a fountain that requires external power. To move the fountain simply drain it, move it and its solar panel to the desired location, and the move is finished. This flexibility means that you can place your solar fountain anywhere where the solar panel will catch light. You don't need to limit your options to locations close to an electrical outlet. This portability also makes moving your fountain indoors at the end of the outdoor season a very simple process.

Solar Fountains Are Not As Expensive As You May Think

With the development of inexpensive solar panels, solar water fountains are now available at prices well within most home owners budgets. Some models start at under $75 making a solar powered fountain an excellent choice for starter fountains.

Solar Water Fountains Are Adaptable

Although most solar fountains are primarily outdoor fountains, they also make excellent indoor fountains if placed in a room in the house with sufficient access to sunlight, e.g., sun room, skylights, greenhouses etc. They can even work well into the winter although the amount of available sunlight will directly affect their performance. Combined with a solar fountain's superior portability, it is possible to enjoy a solar fountain nearly year-round. - 29857

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Should You Repair Or Replace Your Old Garden Shed?

By John A Moore

Over time garden sheds need repair. I would say that a decent garden shed only has 12-16 years before it is in need of replacement or a good over-haul. The exception to this rule are perhaps garden sheds that were originally built like residential structures and treated the same over the years.

Many factors are involved in deciding whether to fix or replace your old garden shed, including your budget, how much you like your current shed (in good shape that is), whether it suits your purposes, and whether it suits your house style.

This summer was the summer of sheds for me - I had to make the decision to stay or go for 2 sheds. My own tiny double door lean-to shed, and my mothers much larger 1 1/2 storey 8 by 12 foot garden shed. The decision about my mothers shed came first. It is a picture perfect cottage garden shed, but it had some serious water and rot issues. It would have been quite expensive to replace, so repairing was definitely the way to go. The only questionable part was whether the floor joists were gone, which would have made this job really quite extensive. As it turns out, we completely replaced the roof, and having solved the water problem, discovered that there was vapour barrier between the rotted floor and the joists. So a new sub-floor made the shed just like new. The total bill was under $600.

My little lean to shed involved a bit more decision making. The roof was in equally bad shape, the items inside the shed were wetter than outside. Also, the floor had all but evaporated, leaving the sills on the ground, and they were rotting out now as well. I thought I could lift it and put a new floor underneath but this idea would certainly not work once I discovered the rot at the bottom of the studs.

Our first step was to price out the cost of a building a replacement. We made a list of all of the material we would need and it came to $550 plus 13% tax. One of us a remembered seeing a really cute shed at 50% off in the same price range. We figured we might as well save the time and buy new if that was at all a possibility. After a bit of searching we learned that we could get a smaller ugly resin shed for $650 plus tax. The idea of buying new was shelved.

So we went back to our original price list, and decided that if we were building a replacement, maybe we could salvage the cute siding of the old one, and totally rebuild everything else. In fact, this ended up cutting our rebuild cost in half, since I saved some of the better studs from the old one as well. So we dismantled the old shed saving the board siding, framed in a new floor, set it up on bricks, built a new frame and roof, and re-sided with the original already antiqued board and batten siding. It turned out perfectly because we still have the character of the old shed we loved, but it is now square and watertight and will probably be with the house for another 10-20 years.

Both of these sheds required some thought as to whether repairing or replacing was the best solution, and in both cases we ended up saving the sheds, and saving money as well. In both these cases the sheds were already perfectly suited for their purposes, and they also had exactly the right character to match the century old homes they belonged to. In our case, repairing was the right solution, even though one was almost falling down, we still decided the pros outweighed the cons. You'll have to figure out what the important factors are in your decision before deciding whether your old shed will stay or be replaced. - 29857

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The Beauty Of Daffodils And Hyacinth

By Thomas Fryd


So that they will make a strong root system plant them outdoors early. Before planting dig fine peat into the soil and apply at the same time bone meal or any good complete fertilizer. If you use manure be sure that it is old, and be sure that you dig it in deep enough that only the roots will reach it. Set the bulbs 5 to 6 inches deep, 4 to 6 inches apart.

Grow Daffodils in "drifts" which simply means in irregular masses, either large or small. This can be done by scattering the bulbs broadcast and planting where they fall. Let them fall thickly in some places, lightly elsewhere. The result will be more natural-appearing.

Daffodils shine when planted in clumps in the mixed border, along walks and in combination with single early Tulips they are especially showy. Plant some Daffodils with tulips for an effect that is startlingly bright.

Daffodils are very satisfactory grown indoors in pots. During October pot up a number of varieties. Place them in a cool dark basement; remember it must be cool, about 40 to 50 degrees; and let them root about 12 to 14 weeks before bringing to light. When planted soak well, allow to drain, and water regularly once or twice a week thereafter. The easiest way is to plunge the pot in a bucket of water and leave it there until bubbles cease. Remove, drain, and set the pots, where you have chosen to root the bulbs. The best time to water is about mid-day. When the bulbs are brought to light the temperature should not be over 60 degrees. Do not try to flower them in a room where an incubator temperature prevails. Remember, root them in a cool dark place at least 12 to 14 weeks.


Planted informally in "drifts" Hyacinths will scent the spring garden with a perfume, delicious, intoxicating, almost overpowering. They are especially valuable for bedding and for pot culture.

Plant the bulbs outdoors 4 to 6 inches deep, 6 inches apart in well-enriched loam. Sprinkle a little coarse sand at the base of each bulb for drainage. Protect during winter with a mulch of clean straw which is removed in the spring. The bulbs may be set in the garden from late September to early December. The best time however is throughout October.

Hyacinths grown in pots MUST be kept in the dark at least 12 to 14 weeks. So avoid using any outdoor lighting. Say NO to low voltage landscape lighting. It MUST be COOL where they are placed to root - cool and dark. A temperature about 50 degrees is ideal - not more. Do not let the potting soil dry out. Hyacinth roots are brittle. If they dry out the tips of the roots harden, so keep the soil nicely moist at all times. Bring the pots to light when the flower spikes have emerged above the foliage. Both the leaves and the flower bells will be almost white; they soon color up in the light. Hyacinths and other bulbs for that part, can be rooted outdoors. Plunge the pots deeply in the soil; cover with about 6 inches of light loam. In about 12 weeks bring indoors, first to a cool basement for a couple of days, then to a cool room where they will flower.

They may also be grown in special Hyacinth glasses. Fill the glass with water until the water is within 1/4 inch of the base of the bulb. Do not let the water touch the bulb. Add charcoal to the water to keep it sweet. Change the water from time to time and keep in a cool dark place at least 12 weeks. - 29857

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Home Improvement Power Tools Tips For Individuals Looking To DIY

By Henri Shorneau

When it comes to home improvement projects, many men are as bumbling as Tim Taylor of Home Improvement fame. Yet, many women still lack the confidence to take on these projects.

The most basic safety rule should be obvious: Never use a tool for anything other than what it was intended for. If you have children, stress that power tools are not toys. Do not let them play with the tools even when they are unplugged or turned off. Also, familiarize yourself with the purpose of each tool so that you do not use the wrong tool for a job.

Power drills are simple to operate. You put in the proper size drill bit and turn it on to drill a hole. With some practice, you can easily learn what size hole to drill for various projects.

Now you're ready for your first saw. Reciprocating saws may look frightening, but if you can use a kitchen knife, you can use a reciprocating saw. You use this power tool to carve through wallboard and paneling.

If a tool requires protective clothing, make sure you wear that clothing. Sanders, for example, require you to wear protective goggles to keep dust from getting into your eyes. You should also make sure to use any protective apparatus on the power tools themselves. Compound miter saws often come with protective guards to be placed on the blades when not in use.

Power staplers do exactly what their name implies. These tools push staples deep into upholstery. A standard stapler wouldn't get the staples in far enough, and a staple gun will probably give you hand cramps trying to get it right. Power nailers sink nails deeply into wood, making them blend in with the finished product more. They also eliminate the risk of hitting yourself with a hammer and allow you to get projects done much faster.

Once you've mastered all these tools, you're ready for the big boss--the compound miter saw. This saw has a spinning circular blade and is used for making crosscuts in wood. Don't panic; this saw is far safer than you'd think. It even has a safety cover to protect the blade when not in use. Home improvement power tools are neither hard to use nor dangerous. By using them, you can gain confidence and independence--two things every modern individual should want. - 29857

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Immature Condition Can Cause Winter Injury

By Thomas Fryd

Winter injury in herbaceous and woody perennials may be caused by a number of things. One factor is that many of the plants go into winter in a "green" or immature condition. This is caused when plants receive too much moisture during the late part of the season. If it is due to too much rainfall, not much can be done about it, but if artificial watering is practiced, it should be reduced at this season. Hence it is good advice not to overwater perennials too much at this time of the year, so that maturity is encouraged.

This applies as well to deciduous shrubs and trees, and evergreens. The drier period during the fall starts certain chemical changes in the plant so that they are better prepared to stand cold weather when winter sets in. This does not mean that the plants should go into the winter in a very dry condition. At about the time light frosts occur, a thorough watering of all perennial plants will help to put them in better condition for winter survival.

Fall is a good planting season for many herbaceous perennials and a must for the planting of spring flowering bulbs. In the West area, fall planting is questionable for a great number of our deciduous shrubs and trees. If fall planting is done, it should be started as soon as the plants show signs of dormancy. Unless the job is urgent, the average gardener will find it best to wait until spring to do most of his tree and shrub planting. Survival is likely to be much better. Successful fall planting depends on a long fall season, so that plants may establish a good root system before winter sets in.

A number of perennials can be divided and transplanted at this time of the year. Peonies, Oriental poppies, bleeding heart, asparagus and rhubarb are such plants that will benefit from fall transplanting aside from corn plant, especially if the clumps have become crowded, overgrown or weed-ridden. Normally, they do not need frequent dividing unless such conditions exist like in corn plant care.

Although irises are best transplanted around midsummer, this job can be done in the fall. Shasta daisies may also be divided and reset at this time of year. - 29857

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Basic Points in Choosing a Ride-On Lawn Mower

By James Pitowski

Living in a farm certainly has its advantages, especially when it comes to maintaining your lawn. You can have your herds of cow eat away at the grass literally. But if you live in a suburban home where lawns are quite bigger than the norm, having a cow just won't cut it.

If such is your case, then you might be thinking of buying a lawn mower. If your lawn is really that big, the conventional lawn mower wont do. If you go for such equipment, your back better be prepared for the work ahead. Otherwise, opt for a riding lawn mower instead.

Ride-on lawn mowers are simply the best equipment for big lawns, hands down. It makes big sense that you pick this equipment over the traditional ones as it gives you a great lawn maintenance service while you sit on top of your mini tractor-like grass cutter. As the name suggest, you just ride the equipment and direct it to any place in your lawn that needs attention.

If you own a big lawn and decided to purchase a riding lawn mower, then good for you. But what comes next? Choosing the perfect lawn mower that would virtually cater to your needs and budget should also be part of consideration. So how would you choose your lawn mower?

First, you need to look at the the exact needs of your lawn and the affordability of the available models. Price differ greatly from model to model. In choosing a lawn mower, your budget should go with the actual requirements of your lawn.

The terrain of your lawn is also a point in consideration. Flat lawns do not require ride-on lawn mowers with too much horse power. Investing on a low-powered riding lawn mower can save you big bucks. However, if you have a lawn with steep slopes, then buying a lawn mower with a kick in it will suffice.

You also need to make some room for your ride-on lawn mower before making the actual purchase. Riding lawn mowers are big equipment that demands some tender loving care. And making some room where you cant stow your grass-cutting machine away is one way of showing your love for your equipment. - 29857

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The Secrets Of Planting Shrubs And Trees

By Marshall Clewis

Most of the planting is done in the spring, between the time the frost leaves the ground and the time the leaf buds break on deciduous trees and shrubs. You may plant evergreens a week later as they do not usually start new growth as early as deciduous plants. In the fall, plant evergreens, herbaceous perennials and bulbs before the middle of September. Plant deciduous trees and shrubs a little later, when their leaves are ready to fall.

Care on Arrival

When the shrubs arrive from the nursery, unpack them and report immediately any discrepancy in the order or condition of the stock. If the material cannot be planted immediately, dig a trench and pack the roots close together in it, covering them with earth packed down firmly to exclude air. Evergreens that have the roots tightly balled and burlapped may be stood in the shade and sprinkled with water but not soaked.

Digging and Filling the Holes

Dig the holes before you prepare the plants to go in them. It is very important to keep the roots moist at all times, and they will dry out if you have them lying in the sun or wind while you dig the hole. Dig the holes wide enough that the roots can be spread out naturally, and deep enough that 3 to 4 inches of good topsoil can be placed in the bottom and still allow the plant to be set about 1 inch lower than it grew before.

Hold the plant in place while you fill in good topsoil over the roots. Gently shake the plant up and down two or three times to help settle the earth around the roots. Then tamp the soil down firmly. Soak it with water and as soon as it has settled fill the hole with soil; leave a saucerlike depression around the plant to hold future water, which it should receive at least once a week until it is established.

When planting evergreens do not remove the burlap from the roots. Place topsoil in the bottom of the hole to hold the ball at the right height. Remove the cord or nails that hold the ball together and roll the burlap back gently into the bottom of the hole, where it will rot in time. Then add soil and water as above.


Small trees should be staked and large trees guyed with wires at the time they are planted to avoid being swayed by the wind. Make sure that the stake does not rub the tree and that wires and ties do not chafe it.

For small trees from 8 to 10 feet tall, drive a 2 x 2 inch hardwood stake (about as long as the tree) firmly into the bottom of the hole before planting the tree. Place the tree 2 to 3 inches from the stake so that the roots are not scraped. After the tree has been planted, tie the trunk to the stake about a foot from the ground and again every 3 feet, using a piece of rubber hose between them in a figure 8 and then making a loop around the two.

For guy-wiring larger trees, drive three or four short stakes into the ground about 5 feet from the tree on opposite sides. So that the tree will not be scraped, run the wires through a piece of hose placed around the tree 8 to 10 feet from the ground.


Prune deciduous shrubs, shasta daisies and trees at planting, to balance the roots they have lost and to train their shape. When pruning shasta daisies and trees, remove some of the branches close to the trunk. Leave the main leader going straight up, with branches 6 to 12 inches apart ascending but alternating evenly around it. Remove broken branches and any that are crossed.

When pruning shrubs, remove weak, twisted or broken branches at the base. Also, cut back the strong canes to a point just above a leaf bud that points outward, so that the new branches will not cross. - 29857

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Looking For Garden Landscaping Inspiration? Here Are Several Fantastic Ones

By April Kerr

Taking on the garden area at your home can be extremely costly and time consuming. It is certainly worth the time and effort when you think of how much tranquility you will have when you set outside and enjoy the space that you have made. The good news is that there are a plethora of stunning garden landscaping suggestions available today.

One terrific thought is to add umpteen beautiful curves to the lines of the garden. You could do this by digging a very little trench in the shape of a snake along the outer edges of the garden area. Purchase some plastic edging or some flexible yet ornamental fencing to place into the small trench. This will add some flare to the design of the garden.

Picking out the plants for your garden is a really fun thing. Do you wish to grow vegetables and other produce in your garden? If so, you can still have a stunning looking garden and make it very functional. You are able to cut down on your grocery bill and increase the look of your garden area at the same time.

Some people prefer the look of a flower garden. If this suits you more than planting vegetables, take a trip to the local greenery and see what types of flowers are available. You should have a good idea as to if you want to replant every year or not. There are annual and perennial flowers available to you at the green house.

In the event that you would like to plant your garden one time and let the flowers bloom year after year on their own then the perennials are the selection for you. These flowers will come back and the magnificent garden that you put the time and effort into now will come back as the seasons turn on their own.

Garden sculptures are a magnificent thought for any type of garden. No matter if you want to add some unique items or some standard but incredibly popular ones, there are numerous to select from. One of the more popular ideas is to have garden globes placed strategically around the garden. These globes are round and are painted with a very reflective material. They come in a broad variety of colors so they will surely fit into your garden space with no trouble.

If you love the garden gnomes or additional varieties of statues, you can also find them in loads of different designs. They come in the form of small children and even animals. You can often install a water feature in your garden. These will all make your garden stand out.

If having a great garden is what you have always dreamed of, it can happen with the right design. There are quite a few garden landscaping thoughts available and you are sure to uncover one that suits you. Your personal expression will be portrayed in the garden at your house so have fun with it! - 29857

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By Spencer Wilkins

Rather than employing the services of a builder to construct sheds in their gardens, today people prefer to do the work themselves. This is because there are plenty of easy to assemble shed kits that they can use and will cost them a fraction of the price of employing someone else to do the work for them. Such kits can either be purchased from a local DIY Store or Garden Center or by getting one at the many websites offering such items online.

As you will soon discover for yourself there are numerous different types, styles and sizes of sheds that one can choose from. You can have ones that are specifically built to store all your gardening equipment in or one that your children can use as playhouse or summerhouse.

As well as sheds coming in different designs, they are also made from a wide range of different materials as well. For those who want to add a touch of elegance and natural beauty to their garden then those made from cedar wood are perfect. However, these are quite expensive and need a high level of maintenance as well. But for those who want something practical and easy to care for those made using metal (galvanized steel) or PVC vinyl are the perfect options.

As mentioned, a quick search online and you will find plenty of different shed kits that you can choose from. There is sure to be one in the hundreds that are available which is going to meet your requirements perfectly. However, before you do invest any money in such an item there are certain things that you will need to take into consideration and we look at some of these below.

Firstly, if you want to install a shed you need to first check with your local authority to discover if you need to get approval first. You may find that because of the size of the shed you are looking to install you need to get planning and building approval first before installation can take place.

Next, you need to make sure that you have the right tools for actually constructing the shed after you have got it to your home. In most cases shed kits come with all the materials that are need to construct it you will just have to ensure that you have good quality screwdrivers and hammers to actually put each part of it together.

Thirdly, you need to decide on to what base the shed is going to be placed. If you want it to last then ideally you will need a good solid foundation, which is made from concrete. So you need to factor into your budget the cost for either laying the base yourself or getting someone else to lay it for you.

Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration when constructing sheds is that you read through all the instructions provided carefully. It is also a good idea if you lay out everything in the kit before you begin construction to ensure that everything that should be in it is. - 29857

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