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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Patio Furniture for Summer

Invest In Simple or Decorative Covers

It’s easy to forget that while summer surely brings heat, it also brings some of the highest levels of rainfall all year. Luckily, investing in some simple patio furniture covers is an easy way to deal with the heat, the sun, and the rain all in one. These covers, which come in a variety of sizes and colors, won’t set you back much. More importantly, they will save you from having to make replacements from sun and rain damage in the long run.

Screen-in Your Space

Furniture covers are great when you’re not outdoors, but how do you protect from the elements while enjoying your outdoor space? Enter patio screens, which reduce the heat and sun that reaches you so you can stay cool while still enjoying the warm summer days. As an added bonus, this will allow you to relax outdoors on summer evenings without having to spend your time swatting away mosquitos or gnats.

Distribute Citronella

If screening your space isn’t for you, it doesn’t mean that you have to succumb to the wrath of summer bugs. Luckily, this also doesn’t mean coating yourself with sticky, pungent bug sprays. Try setting some citronella throughout the area: this natural mosquito repellent comes in a variety of styles from diffuser rods to candles, which can even become part of your patio furniture decor. With a natural herbal aroma, you can enjoy the scent of citronella and an evening spent relaxing, not swatting away bugs.

Repurpose Your Barbecue

Barbecues are a staple of summer, from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July and every spontaneous cookout in between. But just because you’re not firing up the grill doesn’t mean that you can’t put your barbecue to use. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a fire pit, you can just as easily take the grill off of your barbecue and light some long-burning charcoals. This simple repurposing can extend your outdoor time from day to night, so pull out the marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers to put this simple hack to use.

Spotting Dangers When Mowing Grass

If it is an area you have not mown previously, try to make sure that it is at least reasonably flat. Things such as raised bumps or creases in the land can be devastating for a lawnmower. If the ground looks particularly bumpy, it will be very sensible to consider rolling it and eliminating those crinkles and bumps before you start on it with your mower.

Keep an eye open for electric cables. These can be particularly dangerous if they were buried underground and not in compliance with regulations. That means that although they should be at a certain minimum depth and protected, some people in the past might have simply buried them at a shallow depth and in ordinary electric sheathing which might mean they start to protrude above ground over time. Hit those with a lawnmower and you could be facing serious problems.

If you are mowing in an area where there are electrically-driven fountains or lights, be sure you know where the cables run and that they are safe.

Be clear that you know how to safely operate or drive your lawnmower. It doesn’t matter whether it is a zero-turn lawnmower or a walk-behind model, there are certain techniques and operating instructions that must be understood if the machine is to be used safely. Be certain you have read up on these

Do not let young children play anywhere even remotely near your lawnmower while you are using it. Kids are notoriously unaware of danger and that game of football can be some metres away and apparently safe when suddenly one of the children, in the excitement, will run towards the lawnmower.

Green Space Spring Ready

First things first, you should sharpen your tools. This means shovels, pruning shears, lawnmower blades and anything else you can sharpen. Getting them work ready will save you time when you actually want to get to work in the garden. Rubbing mineral spirits on wooden tool handles will reduce splitting which may just save you from the dreaded splinter.

Get that soil ready before you start to plant. That is, you’ll want to clean up any leaves or debris that has settled there over the winter, but you also want to rake it and get some air into it. This is a great time to add compost for extra nutrients, mix it in well and you’ll be good to go once planting season is here.

If you have a new garden, if you want to re-do your garden or if you’re starting from scratch the best thing to do is draw up a plan. What do you want your garden to look like when you’re done? Do you want big items like trees in there or will it be an annual bed? Most will go with a combination of the two so they have something pretty to look at all year round, evergreens keep their colour all year, some perennials bloom in the fall after the annuals have been pulled, etc.

It may be intimidating to go into a nursery because you may get waylaid looking at all the beautiful plants and end up with nothing that you went in for. Best to arm yourself with a list. Take along your garden plan to remind yourself what will go where and once you see all the plants together you can make your final choices. Remember to keep tall things to the back so you can still see the short things and don’t crowd the garden, everything will grow bigger year after year.

Planting Summer Bulbs

Make sure you will plant the bulbs in the best area in your garden. Make sure you will be planting the bulbs in areas that have the ideal conditions. This is especially true for perennial bulbs or the ones that hardy in your zone. For instance, many of the tropical summer bulbs thrive only in really warm, sun-bathed sites. Other species, such as canna or elephant ear, flourish better in moist areas and will even grow in shallow standing water. There are also some summer bulbs that won’t grow when planted in clay soil.

Never plant summer bulbs into the garden soil until it has warmed adequately. If you live in a cold area, start planting only when the spring air temperature is warm enough since summer bulbs planted in cold soil tends to rot easily. You can consider using black nursery pots to absorb the sun’s heat and warm soil if you can’t wait to start planting. However, don’t transplant the bulbs into the garden beds until you’re sure the soil is warm enough.

Always plant bulbs right side up. The roots should always be on the bottom of the planting hole. Although it can be tricky to tell which end is up for some bulbs, it is important to do this. One tip you can follow to determine which part is the bottom is to look for the part where there are roots attach to the bulb – this is the bottom part. Although plants can recover if you tuck bulbs into the soil upside down, you’ll still have better results if you get things right at the start.