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How to Mow Lawns Like a Pro

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you are planning on starting a landscaping business, one of the first things you should know how to do is mow lawns properly. This will help your clients have healthy, green lawns, and actually make your job easier. Here are some essential tips for mowing lawns like a pro. Be Careful How Much You Cut It is tempting to cut grass as short as possible, but this is a common mistake you need to avoid. When mowing a client’s lawn, make sure you don’t remove all of the grass the first time you cut it. Doing too much at one time leaves a lawn with an unhealthy look and can halt growth. Instead of doing that, mow a small amount of the grass, then return after a few days to see if more needs to be cut. If you are cutting a cool season grass, it should never be cut short. You want it at an attractive and manageable height, but for draining and root system purposes, keep it a little higher than other grasses. Use a High-Quality Lawnmower Mowing other people’s lawns is far different from only maintaining your own. When you run a landscaping business, you need to have the best equipment available. Have a combination of lawnmowers, including a riding lawnmower and traditional push lawnmower. Some mowers are better for smaller lawns, while others are good for larger lawns. If you use the wrong lawnmower, you might have uneven cuts and an imperfect finished products. Also make sure the blades on the lawnmower are always sharpened for clean cuts. Leave Lawn Clippings on the Ground Unless your client has specific requests to bag up the grass clippings, let them fall where they are and leave them on the lawn. The clippings will decompose in a short period of time and provide nutrients to the rest of the lawn. Before too long, the client will no longer see the cut blades of grass and will have a healthy, green lawn. Bagging clippings should only be done in rare cases, such as if the client wants to make mulch with the clippings by combining with other organic material, or if a lot of grass was cut, leaving large clumps around the yard. Mow Differently Each Time Every time you mow the same lawn, change the direction in which you moved the lawnmower. This can help you avoid having grass that grows back in a specific pattern. If you see someone’s lawn that always seems to grow with set rows that are obvious to see, it is probably because the person mowing the lawn kept using the same pattern and technique every single...

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Patio Builders | 3 Winning Additions To Winterise Your Outdoor Patio

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Uncategorized |

While most patios are dressed to embrace the warmth of the glorious summer sun, there’s no reason why certain additions cannot help you enjoy your outdoor patio during winters. Work with your patio builders to make these winning additions and enjoy your al fresco space throughout the year. Make Room For A Rooftop Depending on your specific preference, you can either choose to install a permanent construction or you can mount seasonal canopies for your patio’s rooftop. Either way, your patio will benefit from contained heat in the cooler months. Adding a rooftop is a great way to protect your patio from harsh winds and heavy rains during winters, allowing you to enjoy your al fresco space by blocking out breeze when it gets too chilly. Work with your patio builders to choose between permanent pergola roofs, temporary umbrellas, shade sails or retractable awnings based on your personal tastes. Construct A Fireplace One of the cosiest ways to enjoy a patio in winter is to build a fireplace for the area. Depending on your existing patio style and budget, you can either choose to build a large fireplace or a small one. The choices for fireplaces are aplenty for your patio. You can either choose to build a gas or electric fireplace depending on your specific needs. If you cannot build a fireplace, you can install portable fire pits across different parts of your patio. Apart from a main fireplace, you can even add small heat lamps to different areas of your patio to keep in cosy when temperatures dip. With so many modern gadgets, you also have the choice to construct a small fireplace on your patio table. Working with your patio builders to establish the design and size of your fireplace will depend on the space available, your specific taste and your budget. Heat Up Your Floors If your patio space is too small to build a fireplace, then you may want to consider heating your patio floors for added comfort during winters. Heated floors will keep the patio warm and snug, so you can enjoy your al fresco lifestyle without compromise, whether you have tiled, concrete or timber floors. Heated patio floors provide a dual benefit. They not only heat your flooring to keep your feet warm, but they also warm up your overall patio space. Your patio builders can easily undertake this installation, so you may want to consider this factor for winterising your patio. If you want to enjoy your outdoor space in winter, work with your patio builders to make these smart additions....

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Renovating Your Coastal Vacation Home for Summer

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have a coastal vacation home that you visit during the summer months, it may need some sprucing up for the warmer weather. From outdated windows, chipped paint and rotting decks, these are all cosmetic blemishes that can be easily remedied with a little hard work and renovation. The key to tackling all of the necessary renovations is getting organized. Make a list of everything that needs attention and complete one task at a time, before you know it your coastal vacation home will be ready for warmer months and barbeques. Use the following list to learn about some of the most common renovations that you should consider for your coastal vacation home this summer. Landscaping Chances are, if your summer house is vacant during the winter months, the landscape will need a bit of work. You should make sure that you plant early so that the landscaping looks good by the time you visit in the summer, which may require hiring a professional landscaping company. Siding and Paths After sitting all winter, your home’s exterior may need the paved areas and siding power washed. This cleaning process can be just as dramatic as adding a new coat of paint. You can do this yourself by renting a pressure washing machine at your local hardware store. Eliminate Eyesores If the interior is too outdated for your tastes, consider taking the time to spruce up a few areas. Take time to remove or clean stained carpets, tacky light fixtures and outdated wallpaper. Another good candidate for renovation is any existing popcorn ceilings that may be present. You do not have to spend a ton of money to complete these fixes, and you can still achieve a contemporary, simple and clean looking renovation for your coastal vacation home. Add or Fix the Deck If the property does not have a deck, consider adding one. This can add a nice place to relax in the evening and unwind. If there is a deck and it’s starting to look a little aged, you may want to fix it up a bit. In either situation, be sure to find a quality deck builder to help with the process. Taking these steps can help you update your coastal vacation home and make it modern for coming years. This will also be beneficial if you plan to sell or rent the space when you are not visiting. Having an updated and modern vacation home can help to increase the appeal of your home and make your summer even more...

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Walk-in Closets: 4 Effective Ways to Organize Your Clothes

Posted by on Dec 28, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Imagine having a closet in your bedroom where you enjoy greater visibility of your clothes, better lighting, efficiency, and comfort, or enough room for dressing. Nevertheless, have you thought about how pointless it might be to own the latest designs of shoes or clothes yet you can’t find them in your closet when getting dressed? For this reason, to help you create and maintain a beautiful and spacious environment in your room, here are four ways to organize the clothing in your built-in wardrobe effectively. Organization of Your Closet How do you organize your sweaters versus your jeans? You may use a variety of options for each to assist you de-clutter your closet and give it that amazing look. For your sweaters or heavy clothing, you can try folding them rather than keeping them on the hangers. Folding might prevent such clothes from losing shape. In case you want to make the folds look perfect, try using folding boards. Moreover, using dividers and coding of heavy clothing by their weight might create the perfect distinction that can help you easily identify which one you want. For clothes that you might need to match with others, arranging them by colour rather than size or brand might offer you a quicker option when trying to identify the match. Hanging Clothes and Hangers in a Similar Direction Hanging your clothes and hangers in the same direction might keep the look of your closet organized. That is, hanging them in the same direction might also enable you to turn the hangers in an opposite direction after you wear certain clothing. When you do this, by the end of a given period, you might easily identify the clothes that you wore and those that you did not to avoid repetitive wearing of certain clothes. Storage Levels You can also try storing the items you use most at an eye-level, the less used below, and the least-used up high. This style of storing your items can assist you to identify quickly the ones you need. Visibility You can try keeping items such as shoes, jewellery or scarves in places where you can easily see them. That is, since you are likely to use such items more often, you may want to minimize the time you spend looking for them or finding the right one for you. In that case, locating the shoes or jewellery you want to match with your clothes becomes easier for...

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How To Grow And Care For Ornamental Weeping Cherry Trees

Posted by on Dec 15, 2015 in Uncategorized |

The weeping cherry is a beautiful ornamental tree that makes a stunning feature in any garden.  Your local plant wholesaler will stock many different varieties of weeping cherry ranging from dwarf trees to full size, all of which display a waterfall of spring blossoms that range in colour from vibrant pink to pure white.  Here’s how to grow and care for an ornamental weeping cherry tree. Where to grow your weeping cherry tree Weeping cherries prefer a sunny site with well-drained soil, although they will also tolerate dappled shade.  When deciding where to plant your tree, make sure you site it at a reasonable distance from buildings and other trees.  This will allow for better air circulation through the tree’s canopy promoting better growth and keeping diseases at bay.  The weeping cherry typically grows long, trailing branches that are festooned with blossoms during the spring.  In order to prevent the blossoms from being stripped by the wind, it’s best to choose a sheltered spot.  The blossoms also attract butterflies, bees and humming birds, so if the site is sheltered, you’ll be able to enjoy this display too. Planting guidelines When you plant your tree, it’s important that you encourage its roots to spread out.  This helps the tree to grow and keeps it healthy.  Dig a hole that is as deep as the root ball and three times as wide; use a flat stick laid across the whole to make sure it’s level.   Fill in the hole with soil, and press down the infill with your foot to make sure all air pockets are removed so that the tree is stable.  When the hole is about half full, add water and allow it to drain away before filling the rest of the hole.  This helps to compact the soil and ensures that the tree is fully hydrated.   Place a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree to help the soil retain moisture, and water the tree well. Care of your weeping cherry tree It’s very important that you keep your tree well-watered, especially during dry spells.  Water the tree in the evening so that the sun doesn’t evaporate the moisture in the soil around your tree. When the tree begins to set buds in the early spring, feed it with slow-release fertiliser or compost.  Ask at your local plant wholesaler’s store for the best product to use for your tree.  To keep pest insects and caterpillars away, use sticky guard tape around the trunk; never spray your tree with chemical insecticide as this can be dangerous for visiting bees, butterflies and birds. Your cherry tree should be allowed to grow the long, trailing branches that are the variety’s trademark.  For this reason, pruning is unnecessary unless you need to remove dead or diseased wood from the tree.  Also, keep an eye out for branches that cross each other and rub together.  This can cause ‘friction wounds’ that allow disease and pests to enter which could affect the health of the whole tree.  Remove these branches during the winter time when the tree is dormant. In conclusion Ornamental weeping cherry trees are easy to grow and to care for.  Visit a local plant wholesaler like Din San Nursery today for more...

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How to Clean Natural Wicker Outdoor Furniture

Posted by on Dec 4, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Natural wicker outdoor furniture is not only very attractive, it’s durable, too. However, you can help to preserve your furniture’s beauty by cleaning it regularly. Read on to find out more. What you’ll need vacuum cleaner with soft brush hose attachment old toothbrush tweezers warm water scissors sponges washing-up liquid hair dryer How to do it Begin by vacuuming your wicker furniture using the soft brush attachment and hose.  This will get rid of any loose dust and other particles or debris that have accumulated during the time your furniture has been outside or in storage. Don’t be tempted to use the hose without the brush as this could damage the varnish or paint finish on your furniture.   Next, go over the furniture with a toothbrush to get into all the tiny crevices and hard-to-reach spots where dust can hide. You might need to dampen the toothbrush with a little warm water to dislodge stubborn debris that can become wedged in intricately-patterned wicker designs.   The next step is to use tweezers to pick out particles of dirt that are trapped right down inside the wicker. This process is rather time-consuming, and it’s worth noting that regularly vacuuming your furniture can help to prevent dirt from becoming too ingrained, thus cutting out this step.   Older wicker furniture often has stray pieces of material that can work loose and stick out.  These can be a nuisance as they can scratch your skin and damage items of clothing.  Use a pair of scissors to trim off any protruding bits of wicker.  Don’t be tempted to pull the loose ‘thread’ as this could unravel some of the wicker and damage the furniture.   Next, make a mild solution of warm water and washing-up liquid, dip in the sponge, and use it to wipe down the furniture to get rid of any remaining dirt and dried-on bird droppings. Rinse the furniture thoroughly using clean water and a fresh sponge.   It’s important to dry the wicker furniture as quickly as possible to prevent mould and mildew from forming. The quickest way to do this is by using a hair dryer on a cool setting and blow-drying the furniture. Alternatively, place your wicker furniture outside in the sun and allow it to dry naturally. In conclusion You can keep your natural, outdoor wicker furniture looking great and lasting longer by cleaning it using the guidelines above. This simple job should be carried out a couple of times each...

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Window Shutters | 3 Colour Strategies To Introduce Window Shutters Into Your All-White Kitchen

Posted by on Nov 24, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Window shutters are excellent choices for kitchen windows because they enable you to control the level of light while giving you the privacy you desire in your home. If you’ve decided that window shutters are the way to go for your kitchen, you’ve made a good decision. Once you have selected the material, you need to focus on the colour choice depending on your existing kitchen scheme. This strategy guide will help you choose the right colour for introducing window shutters to your all-white kitchen. Choose White For A Seamless Blend The beauty of an all-white kitchen is unparalleled, so if most of your kitchen furniture is white or thereabouts, you can get your window shutters painted white to blend in seamlessly with the existing kitchen décor. While white window shutters present an unparalleled look of elegance in your kitchen, keep in mind that they require added maintenance because white tends to show stains more visibly than other colours. But this may be a small price to pay when your focus tilts towards aesthetic style. Besides, if you already have an all-white kitchen, then white window shutters will simply be another tick on your maintenance list. Infuse Brightness Into Your Kitchen The beauty of an all-white kitchen is the flexibility it allows you when making colour choices for distinctive elements. If you want to give your all-white kitchen a sense of dramatic brightness, you can choose flaming oranges, sizzling reds, royal purples or regal blues for your window shutters. This will create a dramatic focal point while taking away from the repetitiveness of white everywhere. The trick is to choose a standout colour that will draw the eye towards it for vivid decorative appeal. You can even introduce one or two more kitchen features in the same bright colour so the window shutters don’t feel completely out of place. This way you will maintain the delicate appeal of your all-white kitchen with splashes of hues in spaces. Maintain Delicateness With Pastel Shades While bright colours bring drama and white retains homogeneity, pastel shades will maintain the delicate balance of your all-white kitchen without being overly dramatic or monotonous –– making this the most stable colour choice in window shutters if you’re unsure of what you want. Pastel shades like pale yellow, olive green and baby blue will give your kitchen a soft and soothing finish and look stunning against all-white walls. The idea is to choose a colour that doesn’t stand out dramatically but also doesn’t completely blend into your existing colour scheme to give your kitchen some warm personality. When planning the colour of your window shutters, use these strategies for an all-white kitchen...

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Choosing Party Hire Equipment to Create a Memorable Children’s Party

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Uncategorized |

At any children’s birthday party, the children, and more particularly their parents, have high expectations. There’s sometimes almost a competition to create the best party, so that puts you, as a parent, under some pressure. Deciding What You Need The secret to a successful children’s party is good planning and preparation, which means spending some time deciding what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it. You can get some useful ideas by going through the websites of various party hire equipment suppliers to see what they have to offer. Bouncy castles and other inflatables are fairly obvious and regular features of parties. But to make the event really memorable, you need something a little more unusual. Consider hiring racing games, such as a Scalextric layout or air hockey, to introduce a competitive element. You can also look at ball pools, assault courses plus candy floss and popcorn machines to provide sustenance between events. Look for companies that have a bespoke approach, that have some unusual equipment or will adapt to meet your needs exactly. Some may have ready-made party packs to simplify your selection and may adapt these packs by removing non-required items and adding others that are more suitable. Quality and Value Most people have a budget for events and so cost can be a factor. However, don’t make the mistake of cutting corners just to save money, because the last thing you want is an event no-one enjoys because you’ve taken the cheap option. Instead, make sure you know exactly what’s included in the quoted costs — delivery, set up and removal — so there are no nasty surprises. Although accidents are the last thing you may think about when arranging a party, they do unfortunately happen. So make safety a priority and go for a company that is professional, provides well-maintained equipment and has all the necessary insurance in place. Wet or Dry Having a winter event may restrict you to equipment that’s suitable for indoor use and can influence the choice of venue. Even during the summer, however, you’ll have to at least consider the possibility of bad weather and be prepared for the worst. Check that equipment can be used indoors as well as out and ensure you have the space for it either way. If you really can’t go indoors, make sure the supplier has a cancellation policy so you’re not charged in the event of bad weather. Despite their claims, no company can guarantee the success of your party. However, if you plan, prepare thoroughly and choose wisely, there’s every chance you will create a memorable event for your child and everyone else who...

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Kitchen Composter: Essential Kit for an Eco-Friendly Kitchen Renovation

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Undergoing a kitchen renovation is an exciting time, and a great renovation will not only transform the way that your kitchen looks but the way you use your kitchen space too. If you want to renovate your home in an eco-friendly way, a composter is the most essential piece of equipment that you can invest in. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing a kitchen composter and using it. Picking a Kitchen Composter Your composter is the place where you put all your kitchen scraps. Over time they will decompose and add incredible nutrients to your soil. First of all, you will have to consider the size of a composter. Obviously, if you are a large family, you will require a much larger composter than if you are just a couple living in an apartment. You should also consider how the composter blends in with your kitchen renovations. If you are going for a natural wooden look in your kitchen, an aluminium composter is going to stand out like a sore thumb unless you have it tucked away in a cupboard (and then it is less likely to be used). If you are truly going for an eco-friendly renovation, a sustainable material such as bamboo would be a good choice. You should also consider the ventilation and filters that are present in the composter. It is essential that your composter has some form of ventilation or it will start to build up some pretty unpleasant smells. Filters, which are usually made of carbon or coal, should be included, as they will stop unwanted odours spreading around the kitchen. For more information on your options, contact a professional renovation service, such as Cabinetry Solutions. What Can and Can’t be Composted? In order to use your composter and create nutritious soil, it’s important to know what can and can’t be composted. It’s also important to have a good idea about this so that you can teach your kids about recyclable materials and encourage them to use the composter. Things that are great for the composter include vegetable peelings, fruit peels, nut shells, used coffee grounds, tea bags, and egg shells. These can break down easily inside a composter. But things you want to avoid include fats, greases and oils, dairy products and eggs, and any pages from a glossy magazine (but newspapers are fine). Enjoy using your newly renovated, environmentally-friendly...

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Self Storage | 4 Nifty Tips To Store Old Photographs in a Self Storage Unit

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Uncategorized |

When you renovate or move between homes, chances are you’re going to need a self-storage unit for a myriad of items, but some items need more consideration and care than others –– especially your old photographs with their timeless memories. Photograph paper has its own unique characteristics and requires special conditions to preserve its pictorial quality. Here are some tips to help you store old photographs in self-storage units at places like Zippy Removals & Storage. Choose Temperature-Controlled Storage Units Photograph paper is sensitive to temperature and light because extreme temperatures and bright light will cause photos to warp and fade over time. An optimal condition for storage entails cool temperatures with low humidity and darker lighting. Temperature-controlled self-storage units typically provide the most ideal conditions for storing photos because they are air-conditioned and tightly sealed, keeping the space cool and free of moisture. Once the storage unit is shut, the light source goes off –– this means that you won’t have to worry about bright lighting fading photos over a period of time. Generate Electronic Backups Make sure you have electronic backups of every photograph before it is placed in the self-storage unit. When certain unexpected circumstances occur, you may not be able to prevent damage to your beloved photographs, so having an electronic backup ensures that the memories remain intact, even though the original is destroyed. You can then re-print these photos later. While these new copies may not be the original, they come close to helping you preserve your old memories. Store in Cloth and Keep Negatives Away You don’t want to store old photographs in moisture-retaining plastic albums with sticky or magnetic pages because they will cause the pictures to stick to the album surfaces, causing undue damage to them. Ideally, you should store photographs in breathable material like cloth sleeves to retain the brightness and sharpness of the images. You’ll also want to store the photographs in tightly sealed boxes to prevent any moisture and light from attacking them. Keep film negatives away from photographs because they produce acidic gases –– these gases will destroy photographs over time. Store your negatives in paper albums away from your photographs. Make Sure Photographs are Clear of Pests Some albums and paper fibres used to store photographs are attractive to all kinds of bugs. When packing for the self-storage unit, you must inspect that every page of the album and every photograph is free of pests. Even a single bug that makes its way to the self-storage unit can destroy an entire box of photos. Make sure you seal the boxes tightly to prevent any bugs from entering them. Preserving your old photographs in the self-storage unit isn’t a tough task, if you follow these nifty...

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Need AC Repairs? 3 Things You Need to Know about Your AC to Prepare

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in Uncategorized |

As a homeowner, you may know that you have an air conditioner and heating system and a few basics about how it works. The trick to this is, you may not know what you need to in case of the unit breaking down. Unfortunately, you tend to find out more about what you don’t know when it comes time to call the repair technician. Here are a few pieces of information that you need to know about your air conditioner that will not only speed along a repair issue, but help you understand what you can likely troubleshoot on your own before making the repair call. Make & Model of the Unit One of the first questions you will be asked by the repair technician is what the make and model of the unit is. This is something you can generally find on the side of your air conditioning unit. If your unit is a furnace based unit, the information may be located on the inside panel of the unit. When you locate the make and model, also look for a serial number. This may help narrow down the unit since a make and model could be used for several years in a row or be discontinued. When possible, take a picture of the information with your digital camera or smartphone. This will make it easier to remember the information if another issue arises in the future. Last Cleaning Another key piece of information you will be asked is when you last cleaned the unit. This generally refers to the last time you changed the air filters, cleaned the fins of the unit, and had the unit recharged with coolant. One of the main issues that causes an air conditioner to breakdown is the lack of cleaning or changing the air filters. If these are blocked, your system could be working overtime which puts more strain on the motor and leads to quicker breakdown. Location of the Unit This may seem like a simple piece of information that anyone would know, but you may not know as much as you think about the air conditioner. For example, you may think that the entire unit is located in your basement or utility closet in the home. The truth is, your repair tech may already know that, but they need to know where the condenser or main unit is located. This is usually referring to the outdoor portion of your air conditioner or furnace. It is a simple answer, but can lead to some massive confusion if you aren’t sure which part of your unit the technician is referring to. These are just a few of the key points of information that can speed along a repair call. If you have all of this information when you call, the tech knows what there are dealing with and what may be the issue. For more information or tips, contact companies like Point Nepean Air Conditioning &...

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