Don’t Have a Green Thumb? Try Growing Succulents

Installing Lawn Sprinklers? 3 Controller Features That Can Make All The Difference

If you are tired of watering that lawn by hand, you might be ready to dig some trenches and put in an in-ground sprinkler system. Although you might assume that one sprinkler controller is just as good as the next, some systems offer helpful features that can save you time and money. Here are three controller features that can make all the difference. 1: Expandable Zone Capacity That two-zone sprinkler system might work great for your yard now, but what if you want to add a garden or a flowerbed in the future? If you think that your watering needs might change, that simple two-zone system might need to be upgraded to accommodate extra lines. Unfortunately, not every sprinkler controller allows you to do this. Some systems aren’t expandable, which might mean that you need to replace your entire controller after you run that additional line. When you shop, look for a system with an expandable zone capacity—especially if your yard isn’t 100% finished. 2: Multiple Run Times When the weather gets hot, some people split their daily watering times into multiple run times just to keep their grass from scorching. However, if your system only allows a single run time, you might end up soaking that lawn and then watching it burn day after day. As you look around for a sprinkler controller, check to see how many run times the system has. Keep in mind that “watering times” and “run times” are different. Watering time is the actual amount of time the system runs water at each specific zone, while run time is the cycle. Try to... read more

Should You Get Storm Shutters?

If you live on the coast or in another area that faces wind storms, you should consider installing storm or hurricane shutters. These protective barriers can greatly reduce the damage your home or business suffers from high winds and blowing debris. You can choose from a number of models that offer different advantages. Rolling Shutters Rolling shutters work well for several reasons. They are a permanent addition to your building and attach to the top of your window, door, or other opening. You simply roll them down when bad weather is on the way and roll them back up when things are clear. These shutters also add to your security by making breakins more difficult. They are designed to withstand the toughest weather out there. Accordian Shutters These shutters attach to either side of the windows or doors, and, as their name suggests, unfold like an accordian when you need them.  They are also attached permanently to your building, so you do not need to store them or continually put them up and take them down. They can make your building more secure as some of them can be locked. They are very effective, but you may not like the “bulk” they add to the outside of your home or business.  Fabric Shutters A lightweight and durable choice for storm protection is the fabric shutter. They are made of an extremely strong nylon and are attached in anticipation of a storm. This process is much easier than with the heavy metal models that residents in hurricane-prone areas used to wrestle into place before bad weather. This model is an excellent... read more

Buying Wildflower And Other Garden Seeds: What To Look For In Quality

Planting a viable garden that produces beautiful flowers or vegetables all season long starts with the right seed. You may be tempted to buy wildflower seed packets and seed packets for vegetables for the convenience and attractive price. Before you grab just any seed packet, know what to look for in a quality company so you can have a fruitful garden from your efforts. Age of packet The longer a wildflower seed mix sits in its packet, the more difficulty it may have in germinating when you finally get to your planting season. You want to investigate all seed packets for the date they were packed or their sell by date. The less time between your purchase and the date the seeds were packaged, or the more time between the sell by date and your planting, the more viable and fresh your seeds are likely to be. Guarantee It’s nearly impossible to guarantee that a packet of wildflower or vegetable seeds will grow, mainly because how you plant the seeds determine whether they will produce healthy plants or not. However, a reputable greenhouse or seed-selling company will offer some kind of guarantee as far as freshness or health of the individual seeds you receive. If you open a packet of seeds and see that they have been damaged in any way, including chipping, crumbling, or even lack of seeds promised, you should be able to return the packet to the venue you received them from for a new package of fresh, undamaged seeds. Region and germination Wildflower seeds that will grow well in your region are most likely to give... read more

Reasons To Think About Installing A Water Softener

If you have hard water, a water softener will protect your plumbing by preventing the buildup of minerals inside the pipes. Water is considered hard when it has a large amount of minerals like calcium and magnesium in it. If you get your water from a well, it is probably hard water, but you can benefit from a water softener even if you have city water. Here are some benefits to having soft water in your home. Reduces Mineral Buildup On Dishes If your water is hard, you’ll see water spots on your glasses and silverware. The spots are mineral deposits that remain behind after the water evaporates. Another place that’s easy to see mineral buildup is in the glass pot of your coffee maker. Unfortunately, you also get the same buildup inside the coffee maker as well as other appliances in your home that use water. The mineral deposits can cause your appliances to break down, so having a water softener can actually prolong the life of your appliances in addition to making your dishes look cleaner. Makes Laundry Soft And Cleaner One problem with hard water is that it doesn’t combine well with soap. The soap tends to bind to the minerals in the water rather than do their job getting your laundry clean. Not only that, minerals left behind can leave your clothes feeling slightly stiff after they are washed. When you wash clothes in soft water, you can use less detergent because there are no minerals to interfere with the sudsing reaction. Your clothes will feel softer and look cleaner. Plus, the soft water will... read more

Secure Your Property With Preparation – A Guide To Installing A Dual Swing Gate Opener

Installing an automatic gate can greatly improve your ability to control who is allowed to enter your property. Below, you’ll find a guide to some steps you should take in order to make sure your dual swing gate opener installation is successful.  This important task will allow you to secure your property while simultaneously creating an attractive fence that allows you to achieve the aesthetic that you truly desire. Secure Gate Posts If your gate is intended to provide security, it’s important that it’s firmly mounted. Even if your gates are merely ornamental, the continuous motion associated with a dual swing gate can still cause mechanical and structural issues if you’re not careful to take steps to guarantee security. Before you install your opener, you need to verify that the mounting posts for your gates are as firmly planted as possible. The best way to achieve this permanence is through concrete, and you should be sure that you give the concrete time to fully harden and set up before you add the stress of an opener. Level the Gates Watching your gates close but not meet flush in the middle is an extraordinarily frustrating experience. Not only does this make the gates somewhat less attractive, it also can make your opener function incorrectly, leading to complications in terms of accessibility. In addition, it may make secure closures difficult, leaving you vulnerable to the very security concerns that you were eager to avoid with the gate in the first place. Making sure that your gates are level is a vital step to take before you install your dual swing gate opener.... read more

Harmful Misconceptions About Garbage Disposals

A garbage disposal is literally one of the little miracles of modern kitchens, and many homeowners who are fond of this plumbing appliance can hardly imagine how their kitchens would work without it. The system is designed to remove food waste from your kitchen and send it into your wastewater system, thus preventing clogging of the drains. Despite their widespread use, certain aspects of garbage disposals are shrouded in myth, and some misconceptions can actually lead to misuse and breakdown of these appliances. This article will look at 3 such fallacies and provide the truths behind them. Your garbage disposal can handle all sorts of garbage The term ‘garbage disposal’ is perhaps a little misleading, which makes people believe that the appliance can be used to dispose of all sorts of garbage. The truth is that a garbage disposal is designed to only chop down and flush organic foods, so putting in solid inorganic waste such as paper and plastic can actually cause it to break down. Additionally, not all foods can be safely flushed down into a garbage disposal. While these appliances appear strong and sturdy, they are actually quite delicate, and could be damaged by certain solid foods. Hard foods such as coffee grinds, chicken bones and un-popped popcorn kernels can break up the grinding blades inside the appliance, causing extensive damage. Soft foods such as potatoes and rice are also dangerous, as they can build up at the bottom of the pit and clog up the unit, preventing other foods from passing through. Cooking oil and greases should also be kept out of the garbage disposal,... read more

Grilling Outdoors: How To Make It Work With A Patio Cover

Patio covers are the perfect way to extend your current living area into the backyard or to create your own separate area in the yard. With a grill added into the mix, you can extend your kitchen at the same time. However, when grilling out on your backyard patio, especially if you have a patio cover of some sort, it is important to consider a few things to make sure that you are still creating a safe and fun environment for all of your guests. Try to Avoid Placing Your Grill Directly Beneath the Patio Cover. Whether you have a charcoal, wood or gas burning grill, it is going to put off a lot of heat. As a general rule, the heat is going to rise straight up. Therefore, you need a well-ventilated area for your grill. If your grill is placed directly beneath your patio cover, the heat could cause the patio cover to become damaged. Even if it doesn’t damage the cover, it isn’t going to allow the heat to escape, which is going to heat up the atmosphere and make it less enjoyable. Therefore, you need to try to place your grill somewhere so that it isn’t directly underneath the cover. Alternatively, you may want to consider a retractable patio cover, which can be moved out of the way to allow the heat to escape, or a lattice patio cover, which will allow the heat to escape between the pieces of lattice. Don’t forget to also keep your grill at least 15 feet away from your house or any other solid structure. Take Mind of the... read more

Got Peeling Wallpaper? Here Is An Easy Fix

If you love your wallpaper, you’re not alone. Modern designs of wallpaper allow people to create any type of room they wish in designs that paint cannot offer. However, there may come a time when you notice that the paper is peeling along the seams or near the bottom of the wall. This doesn’t mean that you have to take the wallpaper down and start from scratch. All you need to do is follow these simple steps and your wallpaper will look new again. Step 1: Gather Your Supplies The tools needed to start the job can probably be found in your home, and definitely at your local home-improvement store. These tools and supplies include the following: wallpaper paste 1 sheet of writing paper a small plastic putty knife   a damp sponge newspaper Step 2: Prepare the Work Area Lay down the newspaper on the floor against the wall where the peeling section of wallpaper is. In doing so, you’ll help prevent dropped wallpaper paste from landing on the floor. Step 3 Apply the Paste to the Paper Apply a small amount of wallpaper paste to the sheet of writing paper with the plastic putty knife. Step 4: Rub the Writing Paper on the Wallpaper Hold the writing paper with one hand while grabbing the end of the peeling wallpaper with the other hand. Be gentle when grabbing the wallpaper so you don’t pull it away from the wall more. Rub the writing paper onto to the backside of the wallpaper to apply the paste. Press the wallpaper against the writing paper so that it is up against... read more

Floral Choices For Your Winter Wedding

Many brides love the idea of a romantic wedding in a winter wonderland. Choosing to get married in the winter may narrow down your floral choices somewhat. Most florists can get flowers that are not in season, but they can be more expensive. However a winter wedding does open up all kinds of exciting possibilities for flowers: Branches Trees in winter don’t have to be boring and bare. An arrangement including bare tree branches can be stunning, especially in a decorative base or a little bit of sparkle added for a magical effect.  Trees represent family, stability and growth, making them the perfect symbolic piece at a wedding.  Holiday Flowers Flowers that you see during winter holidays can also be great for a winter wedding. Think about holly branches in bloom, dramatic poinsettias and romantic mistletoe. Many churches and other venues are already decorated for the holidays, which can be good for your decor and your budget.  You can even get creative by having potted poinsettias arranged in the shape of an evergreen tree or by placing an arch of mistletoe for guest to walk under as they enter the venue.  Wonderful White Bring an elegant touch to a winter wedding by using floral arrangements that are all in white. Roses may not be in season during the winter, but a bouquet of white roses is simple and elegant.  White flowers are magnificent on their own, but they are also a good choice because you can add any color ribbon or vase. You can even have small pearls or rhinestones included in your white bouquet.  Icy Illusion Ice covered... read more

Three Tips To Keep Your Window Frame In Place While You Install It

When you’re installing a new window in your home, one of the most important things to pay attention to is making sure that the frame stays balanced. If you have to stop your project for a few hours and leave your home, this can be very challenging. So to minimize the chance of your window frame falling out of balance over the course of your project, take these three tips to heart. Use Heavy Rocks To Hold The Frame Sides And Bottom Down If you have a flat frame made out of several (instead of one) wooden parts, it’s possible for each side to fall out independently. Since they’re not directly held in check by gravity, the frame sides are very likely to fall out if they’re shaken. To prevent your side frames from falling out, you need to make sure that they don’t get even slightly dislodged from their grip on the wall. For this purpose, a pair of small, dense, and relatively circular stones are ideal. If you place one stone on each side of your window sill, you’ll both contain the sides and prevent the bottom from also shaking and eventually falling out. Use Several Pieces Of Duct Tape For The Frame’s Top Side In a multiple part frame, the top side is particularly vulnerable due to direct gravity pressure. But even if your frame is made out of one piece, top pressure can significantly contribute to moving the other sides out of balance as well. Since stones and other heavier objects are out, your best bet to prop up the top side of your window... read more

About me

The first plant I ever killed was an orchid. It was a beautiful magenta, and a birthday present from my brother. Next in line was a series of ill-fated basil plants, followed by a vegetable garden that seemingly died off from too much attention.

Finally, my husband had a brilliant plan: succulents. Succulent plants are hearty, easy to maintain, and thrive off less attention, not more. As long as I had learned my lesson from the vegetable garden, I could have a verdant house!

I have managed to damage a plant or two—knocking over a plant stand with a vacuum isn’t great for a stiff vine—but now I’ve gotten the hang of these botanical wonders! If you have a brown thumb, as do I, learn from my experiences and enjoy having a green home.