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Four Ways To Effectively Use Lawn Sprinklers To Make Your Lawn Green During A Drought

Droughts are notorious for zapping the life out of all things green, including your lawn. If you are currently experiencing a drought where you live, and your mayor or state governor has not banned the use of lawn sprinklers just yet, you can keep your lawn a nice envious green. Here are four ways to effectively achieve and keep a green lawn with sprinklers during a drought.

Choose Watering Times Carefully

Time is of the essence, especially when it comes to water and drought. Using your sprinklers, turn them on before the sun rises so that your lawn has a good saturation before the sun begins to blaze. Also, a good ten minutes is all your lawn really needs during this time of the morning. Do the same thing in the evening, just after sunset, so that your yard can really absorb the water overnight. If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, see if you can program the system to go off at set times automatically.

Rotate Your Sprinklers

If you do not have a built-in sprinkler system and rely on sprinklers connected to the ends of garden hoses, then you need to rotate the sprinklers manually. Keep one in the largest part of your yard all the time, but move the other one or two sprinklers around the side and front yards, occasionally moving one of them to enable a fuller watering of your back yard (or the largest area of your lawn). If the sprinklers’ spraying distance is short, be sure to move them around so that most of the yard will get water.

Poke Holes In Your Garden Hoses

Although this tends to decrease water pressure, it does help water more of the yard than just your sprinklers alone. If you are careful and methodical about where the holes are placed, the water pressure will not decrease so much that the sprinklers cannot do their job. Small slits about the width of your pinky fingernail every couple of feet should be enough. Then turn your outdoor faucets on full blast. The water that squirts from the holes should and can reach the areas of your lawn that are untouched by the reach of your sprinklers.

Place Sprinklers In Areas Of Bright Sunlight

As you may have already noticed, your grass is probably higher in places where it there is full shade. The sun is not killing it or evaporating the water from the sprinklers too quickly. With that in mind, place your sprinklers in the various parts of your yard that receive the full blast of the sun’s light during the day. These areas will get more of the water they need to deal with the hot sun and the drought while your shaded areas get just enough to keep green and growing.

For more information, consider contacting a professional like those at Krupske Sprinkler Systems.

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Learn How Movers Can Help You After You Inherit A House

When you inherit a home, it can be difficult to handle all of the moving process on your own. You can hire a moving company to help you clean out the house and move your belongings into it to make the process easier. The guide that follows walks you through a few tips to make the moving process easier.

Create a Guide for the Movers to Follow When Emptying the House

You want to use labels to identify which items are to be donated, trashed, or kept. Create a guide on a piece of poster board that you can hang in the house for the movers to see easily. This allows them to place the items wherever they need to go without having to wait for you to give them guidance about each piece.

Rent a Large Dumpster

You need to rent a large dumpster to toss all of the trash into during the clean out. People accumulate a lot of items over the years and while they may have significance to the homeowner, they may not have any significance to anyone else and just be considered trash.

Go Through and Label the Items in the House

Take stickers that correspond to the colors on the guide that you created to label items throughout the home. If you are labeling something that has fabric on it, such as a sofa, attach the sticker to an index card and then use a safety pin to secure it to the fabric. Stickers do not often stick well to upholstery and creating a sticker tag ensures all furniture is properly labeled.

Clean Out the House

Have the movers clean out the house. If the dumpster starts to become filled, you can have the company come and dump it for you. Likewise, if the donations start to pile up, have the movers take them to the local thrift store as a donation.

Create a Guide for the Movers to Follow When Bringing in Your Belongings

While the movers are moving items out of the house, create a guide for your belongings like you did for the items that are being moved out of the house. The guide for your belongings will indicate where your items go inside of the home. This allows the movers to grab items off of the truck and move them into the exact room they belong. Go around your home and label your belongings the same way that you did the items that were being removed from the home you inherited and then let the movers move everything for you.  

Moving can be a long, tedious process, but taking the time to help the movers know where items need to go will make the move much easier and faster. Be sure to stay nearby during the moving process so the movers can ask you questions about what stays and what goes, if a tag falls off of something or cannot be found. For more information, contact a moving company, such as Frank and Sons Moving and Storage Inc. Agent for Wheaton World Wide Moving.  

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2 Novelty Gift Idea To Consider

Buying a gift for someone can be a very difficult experience, mostly because it can be quite hard to find something that you know they will enjoy. Below are two novelty gift ideas that can help make gift giving a bit easier for you.

Photograph Conversion

One great novelty gift idea is to submit a photograph to a service or artist that will convert it into a hand-drawn work of art. In many cases, these services will take a photograph and turn it into a pencil or charcoal portrait. In some cases, the service will even be happy to convert it into a painting for you. 

This is a great idea if you want to create a more personal gift for your friend and loved one because you can take a picture from an important event or of an important person in his or her life and turn it into a memorable showpiece for their home. If you want to save a bit of money, you can also utilize a service that does these conversions digitally in order to recreate the hand-drawn look.

Personalized Mugs and Apparel

Another novelty gift idea to consider is to customize mugs, dinnerware, or apparel in a way that appeals to your friend or loved one’s interest. This is a great option if you have a friend that is obsessed with a particular video game, television, movie, or book franchise. In many cases, you can easily find a store that creates everything from coffee mugs to t-shirts and hoodies with logos and scenes from many major and obscure franchises.

If you cannot find the exact scene, quote, or character on a piece of clothing or mug, you can often contact a service to create a custom piece for you. In many cases, these services will simply ask you to submit a picture of what you would like and then print it on one of their items to create a one-of-a-kind piece. This is a great idea as it can allow you to completely surprise your friend or loved one with a gift relating to their fandom or hobbies that they have not already seen listed for sale numerous times in the past.

While trying to figure out what type of gift to give a loved one can be a bit challenging at times, there are cheap novelty gift ideas that can simplify the process for you. Novelty gifts can help you give memorable and one-of-a-kind gifts.

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2 Creative Uses for Old Vinyl Window Blinds

When trying to update the look of their home it’s common for homeowners to replace vinyl blinds with more sophisticated window treatments. While you might be tempted to throw those vinyl slats in the trash, you might want to think twice before tossing your old vinyl window blinds.

Here are two creative things that you can do with old blinds.

1. Turn your old blinds into roman shades.

If some of the vinyl slats in your old mini blinds are broken, you can still transform these obsolete items into stylish window treatments. Turning your old blinds into roman shades is a simple process. All you need to do is gather some fabric in the pattern of your choosing, fusible hem tape, fabric glue, and some scissors.

Begin by ironing your fabric to remove any wrinkles. Measure your window, and cut your fabric so that the finished piece is one inch wider and two inches longer than your window opening. Fold both of the long sides of your fabric to create a one-half inch fold, and iron down. Add your fusible hem tape to the inside of the pressed fold, and iron again to permanently fuse the tape.

Repeat with the shorter sides of your fabric, and then use some glue to attach the fabric to the top of your mini blinds. Let the blinds out on the backside of the fabric, and cut the cord that supports each individual vinyl slat. Leave only a few slats, and glue these to the fabric. Hang your new roman shades, and enjoy the repurposed look of your vinyl window blinds.

2. Make some bookmarks for your children.

If you don’t want to reuse your blinds to create new window coverings, you can always use the vinyl slats to create some unique bookmarks for your children.

To complete this project you will need to cut some of the slats free from your mini blinds, and trim them to size. Allow your children to express their unique sense of style by applying wallpaper, stickers, or paint to the vinyl slats.

The best paint for vinyl is a water-based 100% acrylic paint, so be sure that you visit your local craft store to purchase some of this paint before beginning your bookmark project.

Finding ways to reuse your old vinyl blinds doesn’t have to be difficult. Try transforming broken mini blinds into stylish roman shades, or creating unique bookmarks for your children using vinyl window slats. If you’re shopping for new blinds after disposing of your old ones, consider looking into local specialists, such as Sylvans & Phillips Drapes and Blinds, to find the right fit for your home and decor.

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3 Tips For Planting A Wildflower Garden

While immaculate gardens might be aesthetically pleasing, a green thumb doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you find that you are having a hard time keeping the flowers in your garden alive, you may want to consider using wildflowers instead. Turning your garden area into a wildflower meadow is an easy way to get brightly colored flowers without expending a lot of effort.

Here are three tips you can use to ensure your wildflower garden is a success.

1. Get rid of weeds.

Too many weeds in your garden means that flowers have to compete for vital resources. If you want to ensure that your wildflower garden is successful, you must rid the area of weeds before planting. If you aren’t interested in using chemical compounds to kill off unwanted weeds, you can turn to vinegar for help instead.

The acidic nature of vinegar allows it to kill off any plants it comes into contact with. For the best results, put your vinegar in a pump sprayer and apply it to your garden area on a warm day. The vinegar is most effective if it is applied when the temperature is at least 78 degrees.

2. Mix some grass seeds in with your wildflower seed mix.

In order to replicate the look of a naturally growing meadow, it can be beneficial to mix in some grass seeds with your wildflower seed mix. When selecting a grass variety to include in your meadow, it’s helpful to stick with native grasses. Grasses that can be found growing wild in your area will be able to withstand the climate conditions more readily.

It’s important to recognize that grass seeds will become denser over time. To ensure that your wildflowers have enough room to germinate, you will need to till up parts of your garden meadow to ensure the wildflower seeds can make contact with the soil.

3. Carefully consider your seed placement.

Although wildflowers may appear in a random pattern when growing in the wild, you will want to think carefully about your seed placement to ensure you enjoy your domesticated wildflower meadow more fully in the future.

Be sure that you plant the seeds for flowers that will be tall when mature toward the back of your garden area, and leave the front of your garden free for shorter flower varieties. This will ensure that you are able to easily view all the flowers growing in your garden-turned-meadow.

Planting wildflowers is a simple way to add more color to your landscape. Transform your garden into a wildflower meadow and enjoy the benefits these hearty plants can provide.

For wildflower seed mixes, click on the link or do an online search. 

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Three Ways To Maintain A Clog-Free Plumbing System

Keeping your plumbing system free of clogs is one of the most important ways for you to maintain your daily schedule.  If your system becomes backed up, there could be a costly time delay before you’re able to get a plumber out to your residence, possibly causing you to miss work and other major activities.  Taking a few preventative measures can help ensure that you don’t have to deal with clogged pipes.  Use these tips to learn more about what you can do to keep your plumbing system clog-free. 

Cover Your Drains with Strainers

One easy and inexpensive technique you can use to keep your clogs running smoothly is to cover them with strainers.  You can find drain strainers at most home goods or hardware stores, and it is quite simple to affix them to your drains.

The strainers are so helpful because they catch things such as hair or soap chips.  If this debris makes it down your drain, you could eventually have a blockage on your hands.

Keep in mind that you will want to remove the strainers from your drains periodically so you can clean away any debris that has accumulated.  Be sure to empty the strainers into a trash can, rather than run water over them that goes down one of your drains.

Switch To 1-Ply Toilet Paper

Another way you can maintain clog-free pipes is to switch to 1-ply toilet paper.  Using 1-ply toilet paper is a good idea because the tissue is so thin that it readily evaporates once it comes into contact with the water in your toilet bowl. 

Although 2-ply tissue is a popular choice, the paper is thicker and is therefore not as biodegradable as its 1-ply counterpart.  Over time, the tissue that did not evaporate fast enough could gradually cause your toilet to become backed up.

An added benefit of using 1-ply toilet paper is that it is usually more affordable than 2-ply. 

Use The Power Of Hot Water

To keep the leftover grease from pots, pans and dishes from causing a nasty clog, always run hot water down your sinks after each use.  This keeps the grease flowing so that it won’t have a chance to bind to the walls of your pipes and build up.

You have what it takes to keep clogs out of your sinks and toilets.  Start using these tips right away so you can maintain clog-free pipes. And contact plumbing contractors, like Rakeman Plumbing, for any necessary repairs. 

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Beyond Chrysanthemums – Beautiful Fall-Flowering Plants To Brighten Your Landscape

Chrysanthemums have long been the go-to plant for fall garden color, and garden centers are usually overflowing with pots full of their orange, red, yellow, purple and white blooms. As easy and showy as mums are, if you want something different in your garden, there are other plants whose flowers put on quite a show in the fall.

Russian Sage

This Central Asian native sends up voluminous 3- to 5-foot spikes of airy purple-blue flowers on stand-out  grayish-green stems and foliage. A member of the mint family, this is a tough, trouble-free plant that grows well in full sun in well-drained to dry soils. It is hardy to USDA zones 5-9.

 Goldenrod

A North American native, goldenrod has a bad, but undeserved, reputation for causing hay fever. In actuality, it is dog fennel and ragweed, which bloom at the same time, that are the culprits. Goldenrods come in many varieties that vary in height from 2- to 4-feet. Their gorgeous plumes of golden-yellow flowers look best when planted in masses. They are drought tolerant and care-free when grown in full sun and well-drained soil. Goldenrod is hardy to zones 4-9.

 Red Spider Lily

These striking red spidery flowers emerge from the soil in a burst of color every fall. These sun-loving bulbs grow to 2 feet tall and make excellent cut flowers. When the blooms die back, the leaves emerge. Hardy only in zones 8-10, red spider lilies are a southern pass-along favorite.

Helenium 

Helenium’s yellow, rust and mahogany blooms top 2- to 8- foot tall plants in a long-lasting blaze of fall color. These sun-loving plants are deer resistant, attract birds, and are hardy to zone 3-8. 

Jerusalem Artichoke

This member of the sunflower family not only gives you beautiful flowers, but food as well. Bright yellow blooms grow on stalks up to 8 feet tall. When the plants die back in late fall, it is time to harvest the tubers, which can be eaten like potatoes or pickled raw whole or in chow-chows and relishes.

Toad Lily

Toad lily’s spotted, orchid-like flowers add interest to the garden from late summer to mid-fall. These easy-to-grow plants are perfect for a shady spot in the garden, growing to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Toad lilies are hardy to zones 4-9.

You don’t have to be stuck covering your yard with chrysanthemums for fall color. With a little planning, your fall landscape can be bursting with amazing shows of color from an assortment of easy-to-grow flowering plants. To find out more, speak with a business like Wild Geese Gardens.

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