October 29, 2017 Kiara Grubb

Gardening is sure to be a fun, rewarding and self-satisfying hobby but considering the hours you spend outside under the sun while working in the garden, you are sure to think of better ways on how to protect your skin. No one can deny that excessive sun exposure can lead to skin damage, sunburn and more.

Man gardeners have actually suffered from sunburn simply because they failed to protect themselves. Onset of sunburn is commonly shown by pink and hot skin. Later on, there will be burning pain, blistering and swelling. Individuals with sunburn may also experience peeling. This means that skin tightens up to protect itself against sun damage. If the burned skin continues to be exposed into the sun, damages cannot be repaired. Over time, these mutations might add up to cancer which is often linked to working unprotected under the sun.

Recommended Ways to Protect Your Skin from Sunburn When Working in the Garden

Whether you are gardening indoors or outdoors, it’s highly imperative to protect your skin from harmful and potentially damaging rays of the sun. If you wanted to ensure complete skin protection, you can consider the following ways:

• Apply Sunscreen to You Skin Which Will Be Fully Exposed to Direct Sunlight

Using sunscreen does not just protect your skin from the sun but also moisturizes it and make the skin soft. So if you wanted to protect your skin from sunburn, apply sunscreen in hourly basis or as required or needed. It’s important for gardeners to apply sunscreen every hour especially when the temperature is hot because this causes you to sweat a lot and wear sunscreen off your skin on faster pace.

• Always Wear Protective Clothing When Gardening

You must wear quality gardening gloves to effectively protect your skin in the hands and the arms against blistering and getting calluses and also protect it from being scraped or cut by sharp plants or by thorns. When working on the garden, you are also advised to wear waterproof shoes or any comfortable shoes or rubber boots to protect your skin from blistering on wet weather condition.

Wearing long sleeves and pants is also one recommended way to protect your skin from sunburn when working in the garden. This also helps prevent your skin from direct contacts with harmful chemicals. You can also wear a hat with wider brim to effectively protect your neck and face from being so exposed into direct sunlight.

• Get Rid of Poisonous Plants

Some individuals may not know it but one good way on how to protect the skin not just from sunburn but other potential damages is to get rid of poisonous plants. If the skin comes in contact with these plants, these will trigger rashes, itching and unpleasant symptoms. So, you need to familiarize yourself more about the plants that you grow and cultivate in your garden.

These are ways that you need to keep in mind if you wanted complete skin protection when gardening. Also, do not apply scented lotions, aftershave and perfumes into your skin before gardening for these will just attract insects, mosquitoes and other garden pests into your skin.…

October 23, 2017 Kiara Grubb

Crabgrass is one of the most common weeds (plants that are often unwanted and invasive, grow by taking up nutrients, sunlight and space of actual and desired plant) found in your lawn and gardens. Crabgrass, annually occurring weeds, which comes back each year is native in warm and tropical regions. Crabgrass has the ability to spread thousands of seeds during one season. Crabgrass also known as finger-grass can thrive in dried and sun-scorched patches of your lawn. Seeds of crabgrass like other weeds are spread through winds, waterways, animals, birds and use of machinery. There are a number of ways to get rid of crabgrass. But the best method to prevent crabgrass from growing in your gardens and lawns is the use of crabgrass preventer. In this piece of information, we will explain what crabgrass preventer is; shed light on how to use it and what is the best time to apply it so that we can have the best results.  Other than the use if crabgrass preventer, some of the methods used to kill crabgrass are listed below:

  • Killing crabgrass by maintaining a healthy and thick lawn.
  • Cutting while the crabgrass is young.
  • Using weed killer spray to kill crabgrass.

What is crabgrass preventer?

Crabgrass preventer is an herbicide (weed killer). Crabgrass preventer prevents crabgrass from emerging before the seeding season.

How to use crabgrass preventer?

To spray crabgrass preventer on your lawn, you will need following things:

  1. Crabgrass preventer, this can be easily bought from a nearby garden store.
  2. A spray bottle.
  3. A pair of hand gloves and a nose mask.

Put the preventer in the spray bottle and get to work. Spray thoroughly in your garden.

Time to apply preventer:

There are different viewpoints as to when is the best time to apply the crabgrass preventer. Let us see all of them:

  1. Some experts are of the view that spring season is the best time to apply the crabgrass preventer. This is the time when the crabgrass sprouts. The preventer works as a layer over the soil and prevents the crabgrass from sprouting. Another useful tip in the application of crabgrass preventer is to add up some fertilizer, this enables in the better growth of the grass and thick grass grows. This limits up to the space available for the crabgrass to emerge. The timing of the application is of the essence her, apply a bit early and the seeds will still sprout in because the preventer will be affected by the natural processes going on in the soil. Get a little late and the seeds will have sprouted. The preventer will work in the late application scenario but the results will not be very effective.
  2. Some other experts are of the view that does not depend on the calendar, know your grass. Keep a check on the temperature of the grass. Get a grass thermometer from a nearby garden store. In order to get the best result from the thermometer, measure a length of two inches on a screwdriver, push the screwdriver inside the soil and pull it out, then insert the thermometer to measure the temperature of the soil. It is mentioned on the packing of the soil thermometer that how long it should be kept in the soil for an accurate measurement. Keep tabs on the temperature of the soil. The period to usually do this in between the second and third mowing of the season. Crabgrass germinates when the temperature of the soil is between 55 to 60F° for 5-10 consecutive days. This is the time to apply the crabgrass preventer and get the best results from your preventer and kill a lot of crabgrass. As crabgrass is an annual weed, it will keep come back again so you will have to repeat the process on yearly basis. If the crabgrass in your garden is a tough one, then you will have to take some action again. The seeds of crabgrass have the potential and power to resist the preventer, depending upon the life of the preventer, because most preventers have a life of forty to sixty days and once this time is over and in case seeds survive then the sprouts can emerge.
  3. Apart from the above two approaches, it is also said that you can apply the crabgrass preventer on tough patches which do not go away from one single spray and sprout. Pulling is also an effective option against tough patches. Applying a double dose on grass in driveways and sidewalks help as such patches get a lot of sunshine and crabgrass can grow very strong in such patches.

By acting on all the above-mentioned methods, you can give crabgrass tough time and remove this tough weed from your lawn and make it beautiful and grassy again.…

September 21, 2017 Kiara Grubb

So, you are ready to move forward in the house renting, buying or construction process, but are yet to decide on whether you want a single or a double-storey layout. Well, you are not alone: the choice can be quite challenging especially for first-time homebuyers and renters. Most people find themselves struggling to decide whether one or two-floor living would be ideal for their needs and lifestyles. However, in my opinion, single storey homes have a lot to offer that would be ideal, especially for those who want to start families.

One-storey living provides unparalleled benefits and features.

While double storey homes have gained popularity in the recent years, it is important not to overlook the many features and advantages that one-storey options have to offer, particularly homes that come with suitably installed top of the line luxury amenities. Choosing a one-storey layout has a huge array of benefits including:

Higher Ceilings

Do you like the look of vaulted and cathedral ceilings? Well, they will be hard to come by in a home with multiple storeys. However, by keeping the living space on the ground level, the sky becomes the limit on how high you want the ceilings.

More Square Footage

Depending on the style of home you want to buy, rent or build, a one-storey layout can actually deliver more room to roam that its double-storey counterparts. That is because you won’t have to sacrifice valuable space for the stairways.

No Upstairs Traffic

There’s no denying that living in a two-floor plan can mean heavy and disrupting foot traffic and upstairs noise that can be a pain for everyone downstairs. Of course, this can be negated with better construction, but living in a single-storey house means you will never have to worry about a person with a heavy tread making noise just over your head.

Safer for Kids and Pets

Most double-storey houses have bedrooms upstairs, and that means the homeowners have to safeguard and childproof the windows to protect the kids and pets from falling. However, choosing a single-storey home immediately eliminates the chances of a second level fall from happening.

Fewer Bathrooms Needed

On homes with a one-level plan, the owners actually need fewer total bathrooms as everything is on the same level. This can save you a significant amount of money when purchasing or constructing the property and even save you in annual taxes throughout the time you live in the residence. Fewer bathrooms also imply lesser time and energy spent in cleaning and maintenance.

Easier to Evacuate

Nobody likes to think about an emergency happening at home, but that doesn’t eliminate the possibility of it happening. By having everyone on a single-level living space, you increase the odds of faster evacuation, should the need arise.

Use a Reputable Contractor for Your Next House

If you plan on constructing the home, the only to ensure you get everything you want is by hiring a reputable building contractor with experience in one-storey home construction. You will have access to their architectural expertise and knowledge, thus helping guarantee excellent results.…

September 15, 2017 Kiara Grubb

If you have decided to have your garden landscaped, you need to ensure that you choose the right landscape designer. Choosing the right designer is vital as the design of the garden will impact every other step that you take. There are a number of points that you need to consider when choosing the right designer for your garden.

Know What You Want In Your Landscape Design

There are many people who assume that when they hire a landscape designer in Perth they should leave everything to them. This is not actually correct and you need to know what you want as part of the design before you start talking to any designers. If you leave the design to the designer, you could have a garden that looks lovely, but does not suit any needs that you might have.

Before you talk to designers, you need to consider what you want to be able to do in your garden. You should also take the time to sketch any ideas that you have for the garden. It will be much easier to choose the right designer if you have a clear idea of what you want.

Create A Shortlist Of Landscape Design Companies

When you know what you want, you need to create a short list of design companies in your local area. To create this list, you should talk to your neighbors and friends to get some recommendations. Ideally, you will want to narrow down your options to 2 to 3 different companies that you will talk to and get a formal bid from.

A good starting point is a local directory like houzz. You can compare reviews and locations to select a few companies for closer review.

Have A Team Approach

The best landscaping projects will come from a team effort by the designer and the contractor. The contractor who does all the work may be the designer, but in many cases, it will be someone different. You need to ensure that your contractor and designer will work well together. If you do not already have a contractor in mind, you should look for a designer that has their own team.

The Education And Experience Of The Designer

When you contact the designers on your shortlist, you need to ask them about their experience and education. The designer should have a portfolio that you are able to look at to see if their designs match your tastes and style. The more experience a designer has the better it will be for your garden. However, newer designers might be more willing to listen to what you have to say as they are not set in their ways.

Licensing And Bonding

Any potential designer that you hire needs to be licensed by your local landscape contractors board. They also need to carry the correct bonding for the job that you want done. It is important to note that there are several levels of licensing and not all of them will work for your project. If the designer and contractor that you are talking to are not licensed and bonded, you should not use them.

 

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May 30, 2017 Kiara Grubb

While it may seem a hard thing to believe, air compressors come in handy in the garden. The versatile yet powerful equipment can be used to tackle various gardening problems and chores quickly. Outlined below are 5 of the many ways you can use this magnificent tool in the garden.

To clean hoses

While we use garden hoses to water the plants or even clean other equipment, they too need to be cleaned once in a while, especially when they are no longer required.  Although most people will just roll the hoses then store then in the garage, you should always take some time to blow any water off the pipes. An air compressor does a pretty good job in blowing any water and moisture out of the hoses. You will however need a special adapter to help connect these hoses to the compressor. Expert gardeners recommend using the air compressor to winterize water pipes, as well as remove debris accumulation in the hose.

Spraying pesticides, fungicides, and weeding

Instead of using the regular pump to spray fungicides and pesticides onto your garden, why not use the air compressor instead? It is more efficient. The best thing with using an air compressor is that you can use it to spray pesticides onto larger plants such as trees. It also goes without saying that the air compressor is much stronger than the regular pumps you may have in the garage. You will however require a specialized/professional spraying unit for this to be a success.

To pump water

An air compressor is a perfect alternative to electric pumps that often fail due to power outage or even storms. For this to work, you will need a special water pump that uses ‘the air lift method’ to pump water to various ends of the garden with ease. Such pumps are mostly used to pump water from underground water storage units to the surface. One of the main advantages of using the air compressor to aid in pumping water is that you can set water pressure easily, hence no risk of damaging your crops.

Run Oxygenators

If you are more into aquaculture and prefer rearing your own fish, an air compressor will then be an efficient yet affordable way to pump oxygen into the fish pond. The air compressor can be used to pump air (bubble gasses) into the water thus ensuring a fresh supply of oxygen for the organisms inside. Running an air compressor is also considerably more affordable as compared to purchasing and running an oxygenator.

To clean equipment and garden products

You can also use the air compressor to clean almost all garden equipment and produce from the same. This equipment helps aerosolize water, which improves its cleaning efficiency, hence an excellent tool for cleaning muddy equipment once done planting or other messy gardening chores. In addition to this, the aerosolized water can be used to clean various items, and especially root vegetables and tubers. You never have to worry about washing your potatoes, turnips, onions, carrots, or even cabbages in the house again.

These are just but a few ways you can make use of an air compressor that may be lying around in the store. The uses of an air compressor aren’t limited to the house or the garden. Some creativity is however required to make use of this handy equipment.…

April 19, 2017 Kiara Grubb

Nothing beats a beautiful yard with a stunning outdoor view, but when prying eyes invade your private space, covering up might help cope up with the issue of privacy.

As time passes by, bigger houses tend to occupy the smaller lots in the neighborhood, and when you’re left with the short end of the stick, your personal space might be jeopardized because of so much open space. Outdoor privacy screens are a trendy way to add privacy to your home, it can give your yard a simple look and feel while blocking some of those unwanted attention, to start with, here are some outdoor privacy screens that you can check out.

Manufactured Screens

The first type of privacy screens is made up of aluminum, glass, wood, vinyl or other materials. Enjoy your yard without worrying about your neighbors looking over your shoulder with these classic type screens. Specially crafted to withstand harsh weathers, these types of screens will help make your yard look cleaner and more appealing than other screens, It’s weather resistant and it’s also available in different set of materials, sizes, and colors, a lot for you to choose from, in addition, not only are they transferable and movable, they’re very affordable and easy to store, and depending on the design, outdoor screens can also be used in the garden to support climbing vines. Aluminum fences are usually used in homes with swimming pools, it’s used to add more class and appeal to the pool, and you can find a lot of these designs and brands on websites that offer outdoor screen installations like Glass Boundaries Style.

Organic Screens

a man cutting a hedge in the garden. yard work.

The second type of outdoor privacy screens is made from plants such as shrubs or bushes and trees, known as Living screens, they are designed to fit in the landscape of your yard through blending with the shrubs and trees. Using this method would cost you less, but given the fact that you’re actually planting the screen, it would require a lot of time to grow. Putting up this kind of screen requires planning ahead, because the precise placement of these plants is essential in making it look natural. The plants can be planted in pots which would allow you to move it to a different locations easily.

Hybrid Screens

The third kind of outdoor screen is a mixture of both living and non-living materials. This is the best type of outdoor privacy screen that you can get, the combination of plant life and non-living materials would give you a wide range of designs to choose from, not only does it give your home privacy, it also gives you a screen that will last from season to season. You can combine colorful shrubs and bushes to create an all natural screen with a strong base that could last a lifetime.

Your yard should be a place where you feel secure and comfortable in whatever activities you wish to do without any distractions from the outside world. Whether it is made out of aluminum, wood, vinyl, or glass, an outdoor privacy screen is one way to secure your privacy, by choosing one of the type of privacy screens that suits your taste, you can enjoy a peaceful backyard without worrying about other people intruding on your precious time.…

April 10, 2017 Kiara Grubb

If you think that you are paying too much utility bills and that your home is still not that comfortable, then you would make your home more energy efficient. You should think of reducing energy waste also. By dealing with energy losses, you will be able to contribute to the sustainability of the environment. Here are some DIY green home improvement ideas that you can implement in your home.

Insulation

Proper insulation will keep your house protected throughout the year. If there are parts of your home where the insulation is lacking, cold or hot air may get in and lead to energy loss. You should be concerned about your attic, floors, walls, basement and crawlspace. You can add insulation to your attic. If you need insulation in hard-to-reach areas, then you should call a professional contractor to do the work for you.

Solar water heater

It uses the sun’s energy to heat the water. It is very affordable and you will see the savings within a few years. As water heater accounts for about 25% of your energy bills, you can save 50% – 80% money by having a solar water heater.

Caulking and weatherstripping

Heating and cooling account for about 30% of your energy bills. If there are any cracks between indoors and outdoors, then heat will escape in winter and cold air will escape in summer. Caulking the cracks is a very economical home improvement that you can do. It will improve the energy efficiency of your home. Waterstripping also prevents unwanted air from escaping or entering the house.

These DIY home improvement ideas will contribute positively to the environment and reduce your utility bills over time. You should implement these ideas in your home and see the difference in your energy bills yourself.…

April 10, 2017 Kiara Grubb

When it’s remodeling time for your home, you find yourself in a dilemma whether to hire a professional or do-it-yourself. Well, if you have a budget constraint, then you should go for DIY projects. In order to do the works yourself, you need some essential tools. Here are the best tools you need to buy for your home remodeling projects.

Oscillating Multi-Tool

These tools have interchangeable accessories that help to do common works comfortably.It can also do difficult tasks that are not possible to do with other tools. So, this tool can be very handy.

Cordless Drill

Cordless Drills were not available before the 1980s. Though it was invented in 1961 by Black and Decker, but it wasn’t of much use until the higher powered nickel cadmium batteries were introduced. With this battery, the cordless drill is a very powerful tool and very useful for home remodeling projects.

Flat Pry Bar

You need a pry bar for your home renovating project. A claw hammer can be used to take out nails, but a pry bar can do much more tasks along with taking out nails. For example, you can use it to push two things apart by placing it in the middle. You cannot do this with a crowbar.

Side-Cutting or Lineman’s Pliers

It is one of the best tools you can have in your toolbox. It will not bend or break. The side cutters can do three things: cut, grip, and pound. This tool is essential for your home remodeling work.
So, these tools should be in your toolbox before you start your DIY home remodeling project. The tools are very useful and will make your work very comfortable.

April 10, 2017 Kiara Grubb

DIY roofing projects are trickier and riskier than other home improvement projects. You need to be extremely cautious while working. Here are five safety measures you must take.

 

Wear appropriate footwear

You should use a good pair of rubber-soled work boots when doing roof works. There are many stores where you will find special work boots that have extra grippy material on the soles and larger tread.

Check the ladder

You should make sure that the bottom of your ladder has anti-slip safety shoes. You should make sure that the tread is not worn out. Both the shoes must be well fastened. You should check the ground underneath the ladder to make sure that it’s even. You should have ladder stakes to attach the ladder to the ground.

Consider a safety harness

If the roof is higher than ten feet and you wish to spend a long time on the roof, then you should get a safety harness. A roof harness will save you from falling off the roof.

Consider the weather

You should plan your DIY roofing project based on the weather forecast. A little moisture can affect the shingles’ texture and create a risky environment to work. You will have more chances of falling or slipping. So, you must avoid bad weather.

Be knowledgeable

Nowadays, many people are going for DIY projects, whether they have the adequate knowledge or not. They do this to save money. But you shouldn’t do something you don’t know about. So, learn the things you need to know before starting a DIY roofing project.

You must remember these five points before starting your DIY roofing project. You don’t want to be the victim of a major accident while trying to save on your roofing project. So, just be careful all the time.…