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Category Archives: Gardening

Sharpening For Yard

Believe me, you don’t need to buy new blades. You needn’t go to a professional blade sharpener. Not everyone likes, or is able, to turn their blades in for professional sharpening once or a few times a year, anyway. You can do the sharpening yourself, right at home with your own hands using a sharpening file.

This could be the fastest sharpening because you’ll be doing it yourself, right there where you are. It could be the cheapest sharpening because you won’t be paying anyone to do it for you. You won’t be spending gas money to go drop them off to a professional and then to pick them up. You won’t have to buy new blades or chains. Isn’t all that worth it?

Why use a sharpening file? Sharpening files are lined with strong cutting ridges that abrade, or smooth, metal or wood. There are many kinds to choose from. Each type is meant to work on a specific type of surface. The coarse grade file is meant to remove a lot of metal, like when you’ve got to reshape a blade edge that has been dinged, nicked badly or banged up. The smooth grade file is meant for edges that need to have a nice smooth finish. This is usually the last step in sharpening. Your choice will depend upon just how sharp you want your blade to be.

To sharpen a lawn mower blade, a bastard file is a good choice. It does a fine job of sharpening lawn mower blades. It’s able to sharpen, as well as put a razor-sharp edge on your blade. If you prefer, there are special rotary blade files that can be used.

If home owners are fortunate, there are trees that enhance the look of their yard and home. Periodic use of a chain saw becomes necessary, in such cases. To sharpen the many cutting teeth of a chain saw, round files are used. They’re also called chain saw files. The teeth on a chain saw come in different sizes. They’re specified in the owner’s manual, so be sure to check and use the right size. Don’t just buy what you find. You could really ruin your chain.

Maybe you don’t have a chain saw. Maybe you’ve got an axe. If you do then you’ll probably know that working with a dull axe will make you frustrated and tired. You’ve got to make it sharp for your own safety and not just for the job you need to do. An axe file or a cross cut file may be used to get your axe in good working condition. If you prefer a razor-sharp edge, a flat file or a smooth grade file could do the trick. Tough working axes don’t need such a sharp edge. But they do need it to be sharpened correctly in order to cleave through the wood. It all depends on just how sharp you need it to be.

Whether you have a lawn mower, a chain saw or an axe for maintaining your yard, you can do the fastest, and cheapest, sharpening job ever by doing it yourself. And it really isn’t hard to do. It just takes a bit of time, patience and practice. You’ll be developing very useful skills that could save you hundreds of dollars and a great deal of time. If you do it right, your blades could last your lifetime. Be careful.

All about Fire Pit Tables

Pit tables comes in many different shapes and styles. Most of the pits are made of metal and comes in all colors, so matching it to your patio furniture is extremely easy. Although metal is the most frequently chosen material, fire pit tables can be made of wood, stone, copper and stainless steel.

If you want a more sophisticated look, some of the tables also comes in granite. This is sure to add a to the look of quality of your patio furniture. They are safe and the table stays cool to the touch, avoiding serious burns.

A fire pit table is great for family functions because older friends and relatives may have a difficult time standing or sitting on the ground. It can provide a warm atmosphere on a cool night. Depending on the style of table that you choose, the prices will vary. A standard metal table starts at around one hundred dollars and can reach thousands of dollars.

You can find fire pit tables in catalogs and home improvement stores across the country. They are also available on line. By doing a simple Google search, you will find millions of links for shops that sell fire pits of all kinds and types. Many people are using the on line option because vendors are in fierce competition and offer incredible discounts.

The pit tables add an air of elegance to any outdoor patio. They are easy to use and easy to clean. You will want to host parties and small get-togethers just to show it off. Although those tables are durable, you need to take into consideration the climate in which it will be kept. If you live in an area that has consistently warm weather, a metal copper or stainless steel fire pit table is perfect for you.

If you live in an area that the temperature falls below the freezing level, you may want to consider granite or stone for your fire table. These materials can withstand any temperatures, whether it is hot or cold. A fire pit table can add beauty and elegance to your home. It will be the envy of all your friends and family.

All about Coontail

MECHANICAL CONTROL

There are typically two ways of controlling Coontail or Coontail Moss, it can be done via manual control mechanism or by chemical control options,
Manual option of removal includes cutting and raking from within the pond. The plant’s tendency is such that it can regrow from the remaining roots or spill over seeds.

Another option is to use pond Dye which is usually used to restrict sunlight from entering directly inside the pond. The reason of controlling sunlight being that the photosynthesis will not occur and hence the growth will also be shunned.

CHEMICAL CONTROL

Use of herbicides and chemicals is yet another effective medium to curb the growth of Coontail or hornwort. Read some of these tips to control the growth of Coontail:

Use of a seasoned herbicide like Aquacide Pellets will curb the growth of Coontail and other common pond weeds that can be troublesome.

1. Use a comprehensive contact herbicide, that can instantly kill Coontail. Also, it’s important to note that one may have to repeat procedure of the treatment as it does not stay in the water body. Hence, multiple application is a must.

2. Another effective herbicide is Clipper, it actions fast and controls rough hostile and nuisance plants.

CHEMICAL APPLICATION FOR BEST RESULTS

Before applying chemicals, one must follow certain set rules for the treatment of weeds and algae.

• Divide your pond in sections and treat it one at a time. First apply herbicides in half of the pond’s bottom and then in the second half of the pond area. During hot and humid temperature, and while treating substantial growth of plants, remember to treat only ¼ of the pond at a time and wait until 15 days before reapplying it. This helps in reducing the risk of fish loss during extreme humid and hot weather conditions or while treating the heavy growth of plants.

• You will notice that the weeds have changed their colour to brown and once they die, pull these plants with the help of a weed cutter & rake and remove as much dead material as possible. This process will help prevent build-up of dead plant stock and muck.
• Think proactively and keep the muck at bay- Include chemicals which can make your pond look great at all times.

Solar Landscaping Lights

You will also save money by using solar lighting. The cost of the lights themselves is comparable to the electrical fixtures, but you don’t have to buy extra supplies like wires or conduit to install them. Plus if you are not handy with electrical work, you would be forced to hire a professional with electrical lights. This is not the case with the solar variety. Simply stick them in the ground and you are done.

If you are pondering adding outdoor lighting to your landscape but have been put off by the expense and hassle, you should look into solar lights. There is no need for running wires to them or even replacing batteries. The sun’s rays will take care of charging them every day and they will run all night long. They can really add a new look to your yard, especially if you do any entertaining at night. They provide a safe means for your guests to walk around marvelling at the hard work you’ve put in. And with the additional savings over electrical lights it is a win-win situation.

The biggest advantage to using solar lights over more traditional electrical lights is ease of installation. You don’t have to hire an electrician to hook everything up. Simply place the lights wherever you want to and let the sun charge them for you. By the time night rolls around your yard will be aglow in light. It really is that simple.

Another advantage to having solar lighting is portability. You can easily move them from one area to the other, and even bring them inside during harsh weather. You can quickly and conveniently move the lighting to reflect any changes to your landscape design. This is virtually impossible with electrical lights as you would have to rerun all the wires.

Landscape Maintenance

First the shovel, it is necessary for turning the soil, digging holes for new plantings or any other garden job that involves creating large or small holes. Secondly are the rakes. Both shovels and rakes come in different sizes. A small rake is needed for maintaining neat flower beds by raking dead leaves from around delicate flowers and small bushes. A large rake will be needed for the huge job of clearing the multitude of leaves from the lawn that descend in the fall. Thirdly are trowels. Trowels are available with long or short handles. A hand trowel will have a short handle suitable for planting small flowers or vegetables plants. A larger trowel with a long handle is great for creating beds.

Landscape maintenance equipment used for pruning is also very necessary and should be readily available. Shears are great for shaping a hedge and keeping it looking neat and tidy. Pruners are needed during the time of the year that you want to severely trim back trees. This is especially important for fruit trees to bear a good crop of fruit in their next cycle.

A garden wagon or wheelbarrow is great for moving trees, bushes, sod, large landscape rocks or fertilizer from area to another. You can mix a small amount of cement in a wheelbarrow for those small repair jobs around the patio or yard. These are available in various sizes also. This tool has saved my back on more than one occasion.

Finally, the lawnmower, this is a basic piece of landscape maintenance equipment that every home has and is used for maintaining a beautiful lawn. Again, the lawnmower comes in a variety of sizes depending on the size of your lot. We own a ride-on lawnmower because we have over an acre of green area to maintain. Most lawnmowers come with different attachments that can be used to cut lawn, pick up leaves, and mulching jobs.

Ways Care For a Lawn

1) Fertilizers- Do you eat food everyday, same is true with lawn. Apart from direct sunlight and water, fertilizers are great way to feed you lawn with healthy diet to give an extraordinary look

2) Mowing- Very important for a lush look. A Lawn mower is a great tool for this purpose. The real secret of using a lawn mower is the height of the blade that will be used while mowing.

3) Watering- The frequency of watering will greatly affect the final outlook of the lawn surface. Automatic lawn sprinklers are used to automate the process of watering with great results.

4) Aerating the soil- Due to frequent use of lawn by pets, children, etc. the soil that holds the lawn gets compacted beyond limits, that’s why lawn care experts always recommend aeration of lawn soil to help the growth of lawn.

5) Amount of direct sunlight the lawn surface receives- This aspect is not a must but can have some degree of effect. You just have to look for the path of sun travel in your local area. Where does direct sunlight come from in your garden. As the day passes away the degree and intensity of sunlight changes. Does your lawn remain in shade all the times of the day? This can happen if the sunlight is getting obstructed by tall trees or even home building structure.

Wintering Water Lilies

In case of tropical plants, take out these beautiful plants from your pond, post the first frost. It’s imperative to check the roots first to ensure that the plant has developed tubers. In case of no tubers, it will be difficult for them to survive during the winter months.

Once you have pulled out this plant from the pond, place them inside the water. You can take different variety and shapes of water containers available in the market which is used to store these water lilies. One can even use an aquarium with an incandescent light, a container preferably a plastic one or a tub or plastic jug placed on a window shelf. The container could be of any sturdy material in which the plants get fully soaked in water and is exposed to eight to twelve hours of light, will surely work best for these water lilies. The best way is to grow them bare rooted inside the water and not grow in pots.

Ideally the process of storing starts much before winter arrives, irrespective of you growing tropical water lilies. During late summer, stop pollinating this plant, this will send an indication to your plants that it’s time to be ready for winters. You will be able to sequentially witness the following:

First, the water lilies will start growing tubers. This ensures that they get food during winters. Secondly, slowly and steadily they will reach a dormant state, that slows down their system and helps them in protecting during winters.
Eventually, you will witness them growing small leaves during this time and their large leaves will turn pale and die. Now just when you have noticed this happen, you will be absolutely ready to take steps for wintering them.

Outdoor Fireplace

The flexibility of masonry materials adds considerably to the fun of working with them; you can be imaginative and creative when tackling outdoor fireplace landscaping. A concrete slab does not have to be a hot prairie playground; the surface is not limited to “smooth” or “rough”; the color is not limited to cement gray. Brick and masonry units, thanks to new developments, are no longer prosaic, uninspiring building materials.

The truth about an amateur project is that the results can be every bit as good as a job done by a professional. Both in appearance and structurally, the job you do can rate A-l on the building inspector’s card. There will be a difference in time due to the fact that the pro can work faster, but the amateur need not worry about .speed–the end result is more important than the time needed to accomplish it. The mixture for concrete, actually an artificial stone, consists of a blend of fine and coarse aggregates, each piece of which is completely surrounded and held to its mates by hardened Portland cement paste. A chemical reaction, which occurs ideally due to favorable temperatures and the presence of moisture while curing, causes the paste to harden. The water to cement ratio is probably the most important factor as far as the strength of mix is concerned. Too much water will result in a thin, diluted cement-paste that will be weak and porous when it hardens. It will not bond the aggregates nor will it be watertight. The correct water-cement paste, and this is important, produces a mix with maximum strength which is necessary for outdoor fireplace landscaping. The amateur will often use more water than necessary because it makes a more fluid mix that flows easily into the forms. Such a project may look O.K. to begin with (although there will probably be finishing problems due to excess moisture), but it will eventually be discovered to lack strength and durability.

About Color in Landscape

  1. Red, red-orange and yellow are considered to be warm colors.
  2. Green, blue, blue-green, blue-violet, and violet are considered to be cool colors.
  3. To the eye, warm colors tend to advance and cool colors tend to recede. If planted side by side at a distance, the warm colors will appear closer and the cool colors further away. You can use these effects to create spatial illusions. Planting cool colored flowers at the rear of your garden will make the yard seem larger, warm colors will make the yard seem smaller.
  4. Spot plantings can have similar effects seeming to deepen a part of the yard or bring it closer.
  5. Cool colored plants are good for close-up viewing, warm colors are good for dramatic displays.
  6. Cool colors can easily be overwhelmed by warm colors.

There are different ways that color can be worked into the landscape. Some of the most common color schemes are as follows:

  • Monochromatic: Using flowers of various tints and shades of one color.
  • Analogous: Using colors that are closely related to one another on the color wheel.
  • Complementary colors: Combine colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel. These can be powerful combinations ? bold, that some people may find vibrant, however, others may feel that these colors clash.
  • If you want to try and blend strong colors, arrange them so that they intermingle, rather than being clearly defined. You can tone down colors by including silvery leaf or white flower plants. If you mix bright reds with bright yellows, try leading up to the mixture with plants of similar but less intense colors.

  • Polychromatic: This includes a mixture of all colors. These combinations often produce a carnival type atmosphere. These are often the result of random plantings. Although it sounds foreboding, these can produce pleasing combinations.

Before planting, take note of your background and surroundings:

  • Anything you plant will blend in or stand out against the surrounding vegetation, scenery and buildings.
  • Note the colors of your existing house and landscape. Almost any color will look good with white, cream or gray, but it is harder to choose plants that go well with more vivid colors.
  • Use colored foliage carefully. Although the plants will have color all season, plants with gold, blue, purple or silver-gray leaves are uncommon in nature and can look like they are out of place.
  • Vividly colored plants (purples, reds) may look fake in a rural or informal setting.
  • A single plant of a different color may stand out from its surroundings – watch the effect; it may look like a focal point or like something that is out of place. To blend in the plant, try adding different plants of the same color in the area to repeat a theme.
  • Variegated plants have leaves that are stripped, rimmed or spotted, generally with white. These plants are either loved or hated. They may have a subtle effect in your landscaping, but because of the foliage it may also look like you have a “sick” plant in your landscape.

Zero Turn Mower

These are faster and more efficient. There are several reasons to choose these over traditional tractors which includes-

  • These are faster than usual mowers thus one need not to make plans for cutting grass on weekend instead one can cut grass as and when required.
  • Another advantage is that one can add attachments with these mowers. Attach any portable trolley and grass collector to these mowers and perform two works simultaneously.
  • These can work without problem on difficult paths where ordinary mowers didn’t work so well.
  • Unlike other mowers these are equipped with controlling handles rather than driving wheels thus they are easy to use.

How to use zero turn mowers?

-Read the manual properly and then gather proper knowledge regarding the mower.

  • Learn how to use it by grasping all the controls in your hand and feet.
  • Learn to apply brakes and by pulling the choke knob and pulling the lever start the engine.
  • Make sure you follow proper instruction else you might damage your mower if proper care is not taken.

Why zero turn mowers are costly?

  • They make use of hydraulic energy and each wheel has got its own motor which allows them to run independently of each other along any pathway with ease.
  • These are compact and offer more functional benefits. Thus these are bit costlier than those traditional tractors which were used initially.
  • These are versatile.

Best uses of zero turn mowers-

  • They can be run along any circular pathway regardless of its radius.
  • Portable attachments are another benefits as only a single person can do the job without requiring assistance from another person.
  • These are faster and more efficient in comparison to other mowers.
  • These can be used easily on uneven grounds thus making the job easier.