How to Control Your Garden During Summer Time

If not looked after any garden would soon grow out of control, especially in the early summer season as warmer temperatures, more light and rain encourages excessive plant growth. It is important to keep on top of all that extra growth and nurture your garden, so it stays looking beautiful.

Below are our seven summer gardening tips as a guide as to what needs doing in the garden at this time of year. So get those garden sheds opened up and get your gardening tools at the ready!

The house sparrows will be nesting and turning out the gutters or pulling moss off the roof, while green algae might also be spoiling the stone look of your path. Avoid a slippery path and get it hosed down – power washers have particularly strong jets of water which can blast away all the green and make the path look like new.

Weeding& Bark Chippings

While your plants flourish so too do those nasty weeds – it is advisable to hoe on hot days as the weeds will die quicker and dig up any perennial weeds before they become more established and could become a persistent problem.

Bark chippings or mulch are a popular solution to covering the soil in flower beds, they keep down the weeds and hold in moisture below for plants which are great during a drought. Bark chippings also look great and provide an attractive finish to the flower bed.

Watering Potted Plants

Plants in containers and hanging baskets dry out quickly and need regular watering, sometimes at least once a day. It is always wise to conserve your water, so we recommend having water butts to collect rainwater from your house or garage roof – or even use ‘gray water’ from your baths or showers.

How to Look After your Lawn

Summertime is the best time to enjoy your garden, but it is also when it gets the most wear as it gets the most use. It shouldn’t take too much effort over summer to keep your lawn looking great – but if it gets too dry, then you will almost certainly need to keep it well watered – and at dusk when it is cooler.

With expanded growth, you should cut your lawn twice per week to keep it looking perfect and abstain from stopping the lawn as well when it is excessively hot as you will damage the grass. Look at the Bosch lawn mower as a perfect choice for a small garden. In spring it merits regarding your lawn with nourish and weed and moss killer; it is astonishing how much moss can creep once again into the lawn with wet weather.

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5 Plumbing Safety Tips to Avoid Disaster

Plumbing is to your home what your circulatory system is to your body. As a homeowner, you need to know as much about it as possible, and do everything in your power to keep it safe and running. Otherwise, you will be spending a fortune on plumbing repair, not to mention the damage leaks or bursting pipes could cause in your home.

Whenever you need plumbing services, from repairs and maintenance to new installations and pipe replacements, we will gladly help. In the meantime, we would like to help you avoid plumbing disasters and keep your home safe, so here are a few tips you can follow:

1. Get to Know Your Plumbing System

Knowing how to turn off the water can help you avoid floods and water waste in case of leaks or bursting pipes. Knowing the average water consumption in your household can help you identify leaks. Many things can go wrong with your plumbing. If you know how the system works, you can prevent problems, or at least catch them early and solve them before they escalate and require expensive and complex plumbing repair services.

2. Don’t Take on Plumbing Repairs You Know Nothing about

In an attempt to save money, you may be tempted to avoid hiring professional plumbing services and try to solve some issues by yourself. It may be easy to replace a tap, but trying to repair leaks or overflowing toilets by yourself could turn into a home and health hazard. Besides the fact that you lack the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience, you will also need tools and equipment you probably don’t possess. In the end, you could end up spending more to repair the damage you caused.

3. Take Measures to Help Your Plumbing System Withstand Bad Weather

In the summer, when the weather is hot, keeping the bathroom, kitchen, and basement windows open is the best way to prevent mold and mildew. In winter, the windows should remain closed most of the time – half an hour a day should be more than enough for ventilating the rooms. More than that, the heating system should remain at a bearable temperature, even when you leave the home, and you should insulate the pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting.

4. Be Careful What You Let Down the Drain

You could be clogging your kitchen and bathroom drains without realizing it. The waste coming out of the garbage disposal will stick to the drain walls, pile up, and eventually clog the drain. By the time the sink starts to back up, the clog is too severe to dissolve with common drain cleaners or plungers. The toilet paper, wet wipes, and feminine products you throw in the toilet take a long time to dissolve. They will most likely stick to the waste along the drainand form clogs. Preventing such clogs is much easier than dealing with them, so avoid letting any thick, slow-degrading waste down the drain.

5. Don’t Ignore Your Plumbing

Just like your car, your plumbing needs regular checks and maintenance. A professional plumber should inspect it regularly and clean the ducts or perform any repairs necessary. Also, you should never ignore drips since, besides wasting a lot of water and raising your utility bills, they could escalate into more serious problems that will require expensive plumbing repair services. Whatever you do, you can always count on our technicians for your plumbing maintenance, diagnosis, and repair needs.

The Best 6 Plants to Grow Inside During Winter

Once you have finished preparing your garden for winter, and the snow begins to fall, gardening outside just doesn’t make sense. Yet, just because the snow has arrived doesn’t mean that your green thumbs stop tingling. So, if you want to continue gardening in the winter, planting indoors makes the most sense.

Indoor gardening also offers unique opportunities that don’t always work in outdoor gardens. For instance, in most climates, aloe or snake plants simply wouldn’t work if you tried to plant them outside. At the same time, they make for some of the best and heartiest indoor plants. (more…)

One Exterior Home Improvement That Provides Six Valuable Returns

When most people think of the exterior home improvement  projects, they think about all things affixed to their house; a porch, shutters, light fixtures, etc. But one of the greatest investments you can make in your home is planting trees. Trees increase your house value, enhance curb appeal, provide privacy and shade, reduce your energy bills and lower your stress.  Can you think of any other singular home improvement investment that packs that much punch?

Not only are there multiple benefits of planting trees, but according to Clemson University, the financial return on that investment is 100% or more. No other home improvement boasts returns like that. Imagine planting a $100 tree that grows to a mature 40 feet tall in less than 7 years and adds $1,000 to $10,000 to the value of your house. That’s what the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers report a “sound, mature tree” will add to the value of your home.  If only we could identify stocks with a 10 – 100x return on investment as easily as we can identify this home improvement tip!

Return on investment is one financial benefit of planting trees. But it isn’t the only one. Properly placed trees reduce your energy bills. In colder months you can expect to save 20-50% in energy used for heating because of these trees, according to the USDA Forest Service. And in the summer months, the same properly placed trees can reduce your cooling bill by up to 50% says The Mast Tree Network. Said another way, “The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day,” reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Plus these trees provide wonderful shade for you to sit under and enjoy your outside space or to plant flowers that require shade in order to bloom and thrive.

Feeling a little stressed? Try sitting under your trees. Too cold to sit outside? Just stare at your trees. Based on research conducted by Dr. Roger Ulrich at Texas A & M University, “visual exposure to settings with trees has produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension.” After reading about this research, I was skeptical. Sure, a walk in nature absolutely reduces stress. But just looking at trees? Surprisingly it works.

For those looking to create a privacy wall, we recommend the Lombardy Poplar tree. It grows in every region of the United States and when several Poplars are planted 5-8 feet apart from each other they create both a natural privacy “fence” and a strong wind block.  The Lombardy Poplar is a very fast-growing tree, growing at a rate of 8-10 feet a year, so it doesn’t take long at all to grow an impressive privacy panel.

Then when it’s time to put your house on the market, you’ll fall in love with your trees all over again because they will definitely help sell your home. The curb appeal created with landscaping reduces the time to sell by 10-15% and increases the sales price.  A joint project by the University of Washington and the National Gardening Association suggests mature trees in a well-landscaped yard increases home value by 7-19%. The International City/County Management Association pushes that to 20% while landscape economist John Harris suggests it can go as high as 28%.

While they don’t all agree on how much, everyone agrees that  homes with healthy trees sell more quickly and for more money than houses without them.

So now the question is, what kind of trees? If your number one priority is financial return on investment, check out this cool tree benefits calculator at  www.treebenefits.com/calculator to determine the worth of your trees or the trees you are considering planting.

And once you’ve decided on the right trees for your yard, look into a professional tree care service such as Bloomington Tree Care in Bloomington, MN.  After all, well cared for trees are what’s going to get you the highest return on your investment!

Ways On How to Get Rid Of Stains From Your Carpet

Carpets are designed to give a room the welcoming and relaxed look which is among the first impressions which a person gets when they enter a room. Accidental spills and other various stains tend to threaten the looks, though. When stains appear on your carpet, you may be in confusion on what to do.

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The best method you can use to get out carpet stains successfully is to act fast as the longer you hesitate, the more challenging cleaning carpet stains becomes. Depending on what category either water based or oil based your stains fall into, you may want to use various removal methods to make sure that every trace of the stain is removed.

A few tips can help you out in doing away with those stubborn stains from your carpet:

1. Gather the tools needed:

The first thing you need to do is to gather all the tools that you need. The following items are essential for your cleaning task: sponge, hot soapy water, towels, vacuum and natural carpet cleaning solutions. These tools come in handy if you desire to successfully remove the stain especially if the stain is already old or dried.

2. Determine the type of stain:

The second thing you should know about eliminating unsightly stains would be to try to determine what the stain is. This will help choose the most efficient method to remove it. After gathering all the tools then ascertaining the type of stain that you are dealing with, you can hence start cleaning up the stain.

3. Start Cleaning:

Use the sponge with warm soapy water to soften the spot that is dry. Repeat the process continuously on the blemish until it begins to fade. After that, you place a towel on the stain and squeeze it to absorb the wetness.

Next, use a natural cleaning solution to clean the stain thoroughly. You must use any natural cleaning solution to get rid of the odor as well as residue. Grape juice and vinegar can be very useful for removing odor and residue. Then, you can place another towel to let it dry for several minutes. There are some best carpet cleaners especially for pets on market that can also assist you to do this job.

4. Vacuuming and Steam Cleaning:

Finally, you ought to steam clean or vacuum clean the carpet so as to remove dust too. Steam cleaning and vacuuming your carpet helps maintain it, and it will consequently be of more service to you far longer.

5. Seeking Professional Help:

If you all else fails and you face any trouble getting stains out of your carpet, you should consider seeking professional help as professional carpet cleaners have advanced tools and methods for stain removal. Make sure to get the help soon enough so as to increase the ease of cleaning the stain.

In conclusion, you should try to prevent occurrences of fluid spills and other actions that lead to stains to avoid the hustle of cleaning. Also keep in mind that it is important for you to clean your carpets regularly to keep it looking new and magnificent.