In the long days of summer, we all want to enjoy relaxing in our beautiful gardens or walking through blooming meadows. The colours and smells don’t only serve to attract us, but birds and insects which add to the allure. Consequently, all these attractive sights, sounds and smells are as thrilling for our pet cats and dogs as for us.
While you might appreciate the sweet scent of a flower and prettiness of a plant and then move on, for cats and dogs, this is an invitation to have a taste. Pet experts at James Wellbeloved explain that cats and dogs explore the world through their nose and their tongue, so some of the plants and flowers that we grow in our garden can be as irresistible to them as a bowl of food. Unfortunately, many of these are toxic to our beloved pets and can cause severe poisoning.
Whilst we all strive for a beautiful garden, those of us with pets must be responsible and ensure they are safe. Thus, you take steps to ensure your pet cannot access the following plants and flowers in your home or garden.
Signs your pet has ingested something poisonous
The list of toxic plants and flowers below is by no means complete; there are too many for one article. And that’s not to mention how some plants (e.g. potatoes) are poisonous for dogs but not for cats.
However, instead of refraining from planting anything altogether, pet owners should keep an eye out for the most common symptoms that your cat or dog has been poisoned:
Diarrhoea, constipation and/or vomiting
Difficulty breathing and swallowing
Drooling more than usual
Dry mouth and drinking more than usual
Irritation in and around the mouth
Loss of appetite or sudden emaciation
Rapid heart rate
Any one of the above symptoms can be considered serious in dogs or cats, while two or more should be treated as extremely urgent. In all cases, visit your vet as soon as possible.
While the full list of plants which can induce toxic symptoms is much longer, the following plants and flowers are considered the most common offenders for causing poisoning in cats and dogs in the UK. Thus, these are the plants and flowers we recommend pet owners take the most consideration before planting in your own gardens.
Entire flower or plant is poisonous
The following flowers and plants are considered entirely poisonous for cats and dogs. Owners should take their pet to the vet if they suspect any part of these plants has been consumed.
Lily of the Valley
Daisy (in high quantities)
Poisonous roots, bulbs and sprouts
While all parts of these flowers and plants might cause poisoning in your dog or cat (especially tulips and daffodils), it is the roots, bulbs and sprouts which are especially dangerous.
Poisonous leaves and berries
Similarly, it should not be assumed that eating any part of these plants or flowers is healthy for your pet, but it is the leaves and berries which are most poisonous.
Caladium (in high quantities)
Azaleas (in high quantities)
Lilies (especially Asiatic, Day, Easter, Japanese Show and Tiger lilies)
The majority of cats and dogs eat plants and flowers in such small quantities that only the most lethal are a cause for concern. So, rather than utterly avoiding the above flowers and plants, instead, consider your pet’s behaviour.
If they eat a lot of your plants, you should either avoid planting toxic flowers or else find a way to keep your cat or dog away from them. Only if you cannot do this should you consider avoiding these plants and flowers altogether, and instead finding less toxic alternatives.
For all other cats and dogs, simply be aware of which common plants are toxic to your pet and, if your cat or dog show any of the symptoms of poisoning, be ready to take a quick visit to the vet.
Getting yourself a skip bin in order to get rid of your rubbish is becoming the popular choice in the UK and it is certainly the right choice when it comes to disposing of your unwanted things responsibly. Skips have made something that was difficult to deal with in the past, a relatively easy matter nowadays and it has taken all the hassle away in relation to the disposal of our rubbish. They are incredibly efficient, but they also offer many more advantages in our daily lives and we will look at some of them here.
1. Saves Time, Money And Effort
Think of the time that is saved by just going outside your building and putting your rubbish in the skip. When it’s full, someone comes and takes it away and if you have arranged it, they will take it back so that you can use it again. Now what could be simpler than that. Before, it you had unwanted things, you had to find a vehicle to take it there and then load it up yourself. You then had to drive there and unload it yourself and if there was more, you had to do it again and again until it was all gone. You would have lost the best part of a day doing all this, but now, you don’t lose any time, there is very little effort on your part and it is relatively cheap to hire someone for your rubbish removal in Stoke-on-Trent.
2. Proper Waste Disposal
You don’t know how to properly dispose of your rubbish but these skip hire companies do know. They have been trained and instructed on how to deal with all kinds of rubbish and when you hire a skip, you are safe in the knowledge that your rubbish is being disposed of correctly and in an environmentally responsible way. You just can’t go to your local dumping site now and leave anything that you want. Old fridges, microwaves and washing machines have to be disposed of correctly and there are rules about this. These companies try to recycle as much as they can from your rubbish and only send what they can’t recycle, to the rubbish dump. By disposing of your rubbish in such a way, you are doing your bit to protect the Earth and this will certainly make Mother Nature happy.
3. Great Convenience
The ease with which you can hire a skip In the UK is great. It is as simple as calling them and booking a skip and they will ask about your requirements and what it is you want to put in the skip. If you can give them an idea of how much you need to dispose of, then they can advise as to what skip is most suitable. Depending on your needs there are walk-in skips, skips with lockable lids and mini skips.
There is no doubt that hiring a skip is the best way to get rid of large amounts of waste as it saves you time, effort and money. Give your local skips providers a call today and see what they can do for you.
There are many reasons to get yourself a garden office. Not only will it increase your productivity, it has some practical benefits, too.
Skip The Daily Commute
Commuting everyday is a hassle, and even costs you money. When your workplace is in your backyard, you can get there in a few seconds, saving an enormous amount of time. You don’t pay a cent to get to work, and you save yourself stress from traffic jam or car repairs at the last minute, too.
A More Peaceful, Noise-Free Environment
A garden office set-up makes for a very calm work environment – very different from a place downtown with the noise of busy city streets and other people doing office work. A quieter place makes for much more productive work, and you won’t have to deal with telephone chats or constant gossiping disturbing you and getting in the way of your work. Quick Garden have been creating these great spaces for years now – if interested you should visit their website to find out more.
Ditch The Routine
Most job roles include strict working hours when you’re at the company office. When you move to a work-from-home set-up, things become much less stringent, and you’re able to craft your own routine, without being forced into a schedule. It goes further than that, too, since you get to wear what you want and can take a break whenever you feel like it. If you’re good at self-management and have the right work ethic, you’ll feel a lot better and still get plenty done.
Personalized Work Area
It’s no surprise that creative people benefit from working in a place that they designed themselves. Even if your job isn’t particularly artsy, it’s no doubt that bringing in your choice of furniture, wall colors and general style will make you feel more at ease in your work environment. When you can call your office your own, you’ll be able to organize and adjust every tiny bit of it until it brings out the right mood for you, significantly boosting your productivity and work satisfaction.
When you have an outside office, you get free reign to enjoy nature. You can even arrange your desk so that you get the best view of the favorite part of your garden. When you get tired or stressed, you can simply take a break and take a nature walk for a few minutes.
If you’d like, you can even tend to your garden for a while to get your creativity to flow or clear your mind from stress buildup.
Better Work-Life Balance
When your home and workplace are at the same place, it becomes a lot easier to take care of your family and balance your work and your life. You can take some time to play with your kids, prepare home-cooked meals, and simply attend to your family’s needs, all while maintaining your career and you pay. Working from home is a great opportunity to get better balance in your life – the key is being able to manage yourself.
There is no doubt that having a garden in a house can greatly enhance its beauty and of course its market value. Yes, even in this times where most people would want to maximize house space for functionality, a house with a garden would still sell more as compared to one without it. In fact, in most of the exclusive villages, most of their properties whether for sale or already occupied come with gardens, may it be the traditional lawn garden or the indoor garden.
However, all of us can agree that maintaining a garden is not for everybody, let alone starting one. Fortunately, with the help of technological breakthroughs and inventions throughout the decades, gardening now is a lot easier compared to the past. With the help of the right gadgets, one would be able to have that “green thumb” in taking care of their gardens.
And with that being said, to help people with their gardening, we have listed 5 garden gadgets every homeowner should have.
1. Compact composting unit
One of the most important processes in gardening is fertilizing. Fertilizers are the nutrients that will nourish your plants and flowers for them to grow healthy and beautiful. In the past, people would need to buy fertilizers or dig compost pits and wait for several weeks to a month before their actions bear fruit. Fortunately, with compact composting units, gardeners would be able to make use of food spoils, kitchen scraps, and other biodegradable spoils and mix them in one composting unit to make fertilizers for their garden.
2. A watering system with scheduler
In the past, most people tend to their gardens manually a few times every day especially if they grow plants which require a lot of water for them to grow properly. Fortunately, gadgets such as a watering bags or systems have been invented to allow gardeners to configure and set specific schedules for watering the garden plants. With this gadget, your plants would be able to receive just the right amount of water every day.
3. Portable Grower
Another useful garden gadget that homeowners should have are portable growers. With how much diverse garden plants and flowers today are, there will come a time where your garden will be full of your much-loved plants and would have no more space for an additional favorite. That will be the time where portable growers will be of use, these gadgets will allow you to grow your new plant in a separate small space with all the nutrients and space it requires for it to grow healthy and fast.
4. Weather monitoring gadget
Another important process in gardening is weather monitoring. Monitoring the weather in your garden is very important as it will be your basis and in the future, your benchmark in growing your plants. Monitoring and comparing humidity, heat levels, water levels, irrigation and other weather conditions will give you numbers that will help you calculate and achieve the best and optimal weather values specific to your garden and its plants.
5. Leaf blower
And last but not the least on our list of must-have gadgets is one which will help you maintain its cleanliness. And the leaf blower would be the perfect gadget for this. With a leaf blower, you will be able to effectively blow dried leaves and other dead plants from your garden without harming any living organism in your garden which is the biggest problem with rakes. Furthermore, leaf blowers are very easy to operate and are very time efficient.
Canvas art is a popular source of painting that is being used in households all around the world as wall art. An image printed on a canvas that is stretched so that it can fit in a big frame to be displayed is called canvas print. There is no particular requirement of a canvas print rather than having it printed on a canvas. While for other painting, you may require a professional painter but for canvas painting that is not the case to be. You don’t need to be a professional painter in order to create the canvas art as you can do it on your own.
There are no specific skill sets required in order to create Custom prints Canvas as you can create almost anything from abstract designs to beach designs to natural designs. Just create what you like and get it printed on your canvas to showcase your talent. There are different canvas ideas that can be used in order to use them as your wall art which also include your own custom canvas art. We will now take you through some of the best canvas art design that you can use as your wall art in order to enhance the beauty of your room.
Abstract Quote Canvas Art
Some of the quotes that we see are so inspiring that they instantly hit us as we can relate to them in so many ways that we try to keep them in our mind and gain motivation from it. One such way to do such an act is to use these quotes as canvas prints. You can select a different color combination of your choices and then get the quote printed on the canvas. Once done you can place the canvas print on your wall so that it reminds you of the quote every time you see it and keeps you motivated towards your goal as well.
Ocean Canvas Painting
Nature is that one thing that gives everyone a refreshing feeling whenever they see it. Whether it’s the jungle or the forest or the ocean, all these things will give refresh your mind when you see it. Thus having ocean canvas painting is not a bad option at all as you can create your own ocean waves or coastline in your bedroom or living room with simple ocean canvas paint and use it as a wall art.
Flower Canvas Art
Flowers are said to be one of the beautiful things that enhance the overall beauty of your households. While you can plant flowers in your garden, you can also get yourselves a flower canvas art in order to enhance the beauty of your room. The canvas wall art can have different flowers of different colors that give a lively feeling whenever you enter the room. You can either go for rose flowers or tulip flowers or any combination of flowers that you think will suit the best for your room wall. You can also get leaves and stem to give a more natural look to your flower canvas art.
Spray Paint Art
This particular canvas art is said to be the easiest art and the most creative one at the same time. you can get a blank canvas and then start your own art through the creative imagination. Use sprays of different colors that can define your personality with any design that you think is the best. There are no restrictions in this particular canvas art as you can be spontaneous and just go with the flow. Have all the fun with different sprays to create a creative wall art for your room.
Wrapping Paper Canvas Art
The different canvas art that we have discussed above include painting directly on the canvas with sprays and paints with different designs. But going for wrapping paper canvas art is different as you use different wrapping sheet to cover up your canvas and then you can modify it with the help of paints and sprays according to your requirement. All you need to do is to stretch the wrapping paper throughout the canvas and let the creativity flow in on the canvas design.
Fabric Canvas Wall Art
Just like the wrapping canvas art that we discussed, you also have the liberty to use fabric on the canvas to create the wall art of your design. In this particular canvas print, you don’t need much of your creativity as the whole canvas print is dependent on the fabric print that you choose. Get the best fabric design and then glue it to the canvas to create your own perfect canvas print. With little effort, you can get the best result for your wall. But make sure that the design you choose goes hand in hand with the overall design of your room as well.
This is a guest post courtesy of Matt Doyle, the Vice President and Co-founder of Excel Builders.
Do you have a BBQ lover in your life? If you do (or if it’s you), you could do something amazing during your next deck renovation — build a deck designed to accommodate a true backyard chef.It’s still enjoyable on decks that aren’t designed for cooking, but with a few upgrades, your deck could become your Shangri-La.
There are few experiences more pleasurable than cooking outdoors. Here are some ideas that will help you design a deck that’s ready for BBQ all year round!
Outdoor Sinks and Cutting Stations
There’s no overstating the importance of having outdoor sinks and cutting stations. First, it will end the need for a lot of running between the back door and the deck. That means when the cooking begins, it can be a uninterrupted experience limited to a single familiar workspace. Imagine what an upgrade that will be over the frustration of all that back-and-forth!
The other advantage to having these features on the deck is that the kitchen inside the house never has to get dirty at all. All the messes can be moved into trash bags without ever coming in contact with the rest of the home.
Attractive Storage for Heat Sources
Many BBQ cooks are particular about their wood. They’re happy having hours-long arguments about the benefits of using hickory, or maple or mesquite. If you’ve heard these arguments before, you can be sure that you can take advantage of attractive storage space for the wood.
You need to stockpile a lot of wood to guarantee a supply of wood chips or logs that have the right aroma. Wood piles rarely look good, but they can if they’re well-sorted and stacked into cupboards or stalls. Different types of wood are needed for different types of BBQing, and that can mean a lot of piles. However, when you line them up in stalls by wood color, they can create an attractive gradient and a rustic decoration piece.
Brick BBQ Smoker
Brick BBQ smokers have a history that goes back to before humans harnessed electricity, but many BBQ enthusiasts still believe that the old method delivers the finest flavors. There are many freely available designs for brick smokers, and most people who can lay bricks slowly and steadily can manage to build one themselves.
Once it’s in place, the smoker will be the best addition you could make to your deck. It can cook a huge variety of the most mainstay foods in the tradition.
Reliable shade is a top safety priority if you’re going to be cooking outside for several hours. If you don’t already have shade on your deck, you should add it to get ready for the rest of the upgrades. An affordable awning alone is enough to provide some basic shade, but some have gone in other interesting directions. A permanent wooden standing shade cover can add a lot of class to any cooking deck.
Room for Friends
All of these upgrades will give you the ability to make an amazing amount of great BBQ! So if that’s the case, you’re going to want to make sure that you have some seating areas for everyone to enjoy it with you. A deck renovation is the perfect time to think about improving your outdoor seating, possibly with a shaded bar area or some covered benches.
About the Author
Matt Doyle is the Vice-President and Co-Founder of Excel Builders, a custom home building company serving Delaware and Maryland. The company specializes in ICF and custom-built, energy efficient homes. Matt grew up in the construction industry and he has a Bachelor of Science degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Alabama. He also has an extensive background in internet marketing and has worked with some well-known international companies such as Best Western, McGraw Hill Construction, Sharp, and Canon.
A rooftop garden could be the perfect solution if you’re living in the city and are longing for outdoor space. Whether there’s a modest patio or an expansive roof terrace at the top of your building, now is the chance to transform a barren concrete area into a lush oasis high above the hustle and bustle of the urban jungle below.
Privacy and planting are at the heart of any urban roof garden design, so let’s take a look at some garden design tips and ideas to help you create your green dream rooftop garden.
If your urban roof terrace or balcony is surrounded by high rise buildings, privacy may be hard to achieve. This is where clever planting can make all the difference between feeling exposed, and being able to enjoy your garden in comfort. Trees, shrubs, hedges and grasses can all be used to great effect.
Bamboo grows fast and tall. The lush grass provides just enough cover to screen you from prying eyes but it’s not a solid green wall, so you’ll still feel connected to the outside. Bamboo plants are fairly thin and they constantly move with the wind. In fact, many people find that the rustle of leaves and stems is an attractive and relaxing soundtrack to their urban oasis.
Hedges are another way to gain some privacy, while also giving your outdoor area some definition. Consider growing a formal hedge around the edge of the terrace, planting in containers so that everything looks neat and can be easily maintained. With regular pruning, you can control both the height and the shape of the hedge as it grows.
To add height and structure to your rooftop area quickly, install arbours or climbing walls and stock with a variety of climbing plants that thrive in direct sun exposure. Boston Ivy, Star Glory, Firecracker and Golden Hop Vines are all excellent choices that will add interest with different colours and textures through the year.
Whether you choose one or several, trees can be a great focal point for an urban rooftop garden. Crabapples, field maples, acers and birches can all look fabulous. Choose a Cornus kousa with its beautiful white/pink flowers in spring and red/purple leaves in autumn, or a showy Japanese Wisteria ‘Blue Moon’ with fragrant blooms that hang like bunches of grapes.
Unless you’re very unlucky with the visual appeal of the surrounding area, the view from your roof garden should be one of its most valuable amenities. While creating some private green space for you to enjoy, don’t forget to make the most of that fantastic view across the city.
Partitioning may be necessary to create a private space for relaxation, and it can also help to screen off an unsightly view. You can use a combination of planting and hard landscaping to give you the desired result.
Solid partitions, such as walls made from concrete, brick, metal or glass, provide a strong visual block that may be exactly what’s required but they will also influence air movement. This may be desirable if you’re trying to create shelter from the wind, but it can also produce pockets of stagnant air in summer.
Screens and partitions made from open material – lattice or metal grids, natural fibres, woven material – can look very attractive, especially when covered with climbers. Crucially, they will let both light and air through and provide a backdrop and context.
Clearly, rooftops are not natural or obvious surfaces for landscape gardening. Of course, with the necessary technical skill, ground preparation and continuous attention you can achieve pretty much anything you set your heart to, but unless you are an ardent gardener (or employ someone who is), why make life difficult? It is perfectly possible to create a lush but low-maintenance rooftop garden.
Container gardening may be one answer. Save space and maintenance by planting direct into attractive tubs, pots and containers and fit a drip irrigation system to ensure all your potted plants get watered. This is important since plants on a rooftop are more exposed to wind and sun than those planted at ground level and will need watering on a daily basis to keep healthy. Make sure that your planted containers are well draining – you don’t want standing water than can ruin both your soil and your plants.
Large containers with wide bases are best for roof gardens as they are more stable and less prone to toppling over in strong winds – particularly important for tall trees and other top heavy plants. Mix it up with low growing shrubs in large pots, planters or troughs, and intersperse with smaller containers in different styles (and colours, textures and materials) for added interest.
When it comes to rooftop garden design, diversity and interest is key to produce a space you will love to spend time in. Consult a knowledgeable garden designer to help you create a mixed scheme of large plants, shrubs, small trees and more, cleverly placed into a stylishly designed space to make the best of roof space.
Ants, mosquitoes, and other pests can make it difficult to spend time outdoors. When pests find their way inside your house, things get even worse. Nothing is more frightening than stumbling across a giant spider in an unexpected place or seeing cockroaches ghost currying when you turn on the lights in your kitchen.
Luckily, there are some steps that you can take to keep pests away. Try using these 10 tips to control pests, both inside your home and outdoors in your yard or garden.
1. Keep Unwanted Pests From Getting In
Rather than trying to treat pest infestations, it makes far more sense to prevent them in the first place. One of the best ways to do that is by blocking any entry points where they could gain access to your home. This includes sealing off any holes or openings in the outside of your home. Pay particular attention to your doors and windows since these areas are some of the most likely places for pests to get in.
2. Keep Your Kitchen Clean
Insects and rodents are attracted to crumbs and other tiny bits of food. Cleaning up any messes as soon as they occur is the best way to keep these unwanted critters away. Anytime you eat or prepare food in your kitchen, make sure to clean up afterward, wiping down the counters, sweeping up the floor, and storing any unused food in airtight containers. Don’t forget to frequently empty the garbage, as well.
3. Remove Water Sources
Mosquitoes and other insects are naturally drawn to standing water according to Rapid Response Pest Control In Glasgow. Check your property for areas where water has accumulated. Standing water can be difficult to spot from afar. You may need to walk your entire property to find problem areas where water is gathering. Be sure to check the areas where your gutters drain as well as the area around your air conditioner.
4. Stay On Top Of Your Yard Work
Overgrown grass, trees, or vegetation all provide the perfect habitat for pests. Keeping your grass mowed, trimming back trees, and pruning shrubs can help make your yard less hospitable to these tiny creatures.
5. Throw Away Old Produce
Old, rotting vegetables and pieces of fruit can attract insects like fruit flies. To avoid this problem, throw away produce when it starts to get too old to eat.
6. Implement Proper Firewood Storage
Piles of firewood provide excellent habitat for termites. To avoid allowing these pests to infiltrate your home, make sure that your firewood is stored far away from your house. The more distance there is between your house and your firewood pile, the less likely problems are to occur. To make it harder for insects to take up residence in your firewood pile, consider storing it up off of the ground, as well.
7. Wait to Throw Away Meat
If you throw old pieces of meat and your garbage too soon, they could wind up spoiling. This, in turn, could lead to a major problem with pests. Keep any old pieces of meat in your refrigerator or freezer until the day that your garbage is being picked up to keep them from rotting and attracting insects.
8. Don’t Allow Spiders To Take Over Outdoor Equipment
If you have outdoor furniture or outdoor play equipment, periodically inspect it for spider nests, webs, or other signs of insects. Get rid of these items whenever you find them.
9. Designate Certain Toys For Outdoor Use
If your children are going to play with toys outside, make sure that they don’t bring those toys back into your home. Usually, it is a good idea to have separate toys for indoor and outdoor play.
When you think about your lawn, what do you consider to be the most essential part? If you answered the grass, that’s an understandable answer, but it’s not quite right. Grass is the successful final product of a lively and healthy lawn, but it’s actually the soil beneath it that matters more than anything. When the soil is not in good shape, then there are no amounts of pesticides or fertilizers that will ever save it. The latest stages of winter going into the early days of spring is the stretch of time that proves best for giving your soil the attention it needs, be it reseeding or reconsidering your entire yard in the first place. If you wait to do things when it’s already summer, you’ll wind up using lots of water in an attempt to save plants that are struggling in the heat, and depending on where you live, you might not be even allowed to do that in the first place. Keep reading to learn 5 ways to assess your yard and bring it back to life.
1. Water And Seed
If there are bare patches in your lawn, or especially if your entire yard just doesn’t work at all, then the time might have come for you to reseed. Choose a particular grass species that you know will work well in both your local climate and soil type. Plant the seeds as early as you can in the season, which is really just as soon as the ground is thawed.
In order to do this, you’ll need to break up your existing topsoil before spreading out a 1-inch-thick layer of compost over the area that you are going to seed. Work it well into the soil using a rake or a tiller before you evenly spread a top coat of pulverized lime. Do the seed spreading by hand, but make sure you cover the whole area evenly in the layering. Use a leaf rake to work the seed gently into your soil.
Mornings are the best times to do your watering, but don’t over-water at any time. When you avoid surface puddles, you’re encouraging and training your grass roots to actually grow deeper into the soil in their search for water. Seeds that are freshly planted should be watered in the morning and then again at midday. The exception would be the prime heat of summer, as watering in the middle of those days will mean losing most of your water to evaporation. Having said this, avoid watering at night too. Wet grass in the dark can run a risk of contracting illness and disease among the plants you’re trying to get to thrive. Morning and afternoon watering leaves time for drying to happen.
If you want to get technical, it can be argued that lawns are a kind of monoculture. Having said that, grass is usually actually quite the sophisticated ecosystem, because if you zoom in far enough, you find insects and microbes down there among the plant roots. If you want to maintain the proper functioning of the system, then you need to keep the soil loose so that water and air are able to both get in and also out. In time, the dirt and soil beneath any lawn gets compacted, which squeezes off nutrients from your grass. If you have thatch, which is mats of root material that has died, then you’ve got even more problems.
The responsibility is yours to make sure that your lawn ecosystem’s nutrient pathways get reopened. Using a plug aerator is the optimal choice here. It’s common to see aerators that are gasoline-powered, but you might have trouble renting one in the spring given high demand. You can get a manual aerator if you don’t mind putting in some sweat, time, and effort or you can hire a lawn care company from West Chester Ohio. They’re also good choices for smaller yards or if you just have concerns about air pollution.
3. Soil Sampling
Grass loves topsoil, which is dark, loose, and stuffed with decomposing organic material. If your yard is more of a packed clay nightmare, then you might want to put down topsoil. It can take at least 6 inches of topsoil to make for health grass.
Topsoil helps you determine which kinds of grass might work best in your yard, because the soil conditions can be measured in specific areas like nitrogen levels, general organic matter, electrical conductivity, and pH balance, among others. You can usually get your soil tested for about $20 through the offices of the USDA Cooperative Extension Service. You only need to mail off a sample for analysis in a plastic bag or vial. The sample label will have a spot for ‘intended crop’, and that’s where you’ll write ‘grass’. If you contact the USDA, they’ll have additional pointers.
4. Make Mowing A Routine
The more often you mow your yard, the faster your grass can recover and grow. So, depending on where you live, aim for mowing twice a month in the spring and then weekly during the summer months. Don’t use dull mower blades, since the cuts won’t be clean enough and you can actually hurt your grass. Grass that gets shredded instead of cut will dry out from the tips down. Also, be sure the mower blade isn’t too low in its setting, as that can dry out the underlying soil too fast.
Try to leave grass blades a minimum of 3 inches high or long when you do summer mowing. Grass that is shorter might dry out. When possible, leave your grass clippings spread out thinly over the lawn to it can help keep moisture in the ground and possibly return some nutrients back to the soil. If you can’t, make sure you collect up your grass cuttings for composting.
5. Feed Your Yard
Nothing will help restore the health of your grass then fertilizer but be sure you do it only after it’s growing. If you do it on newly sewn turf or grass seed, it might go brown. If you’d like an alternative to using chemical or artificial fertilizers, using liquid seaweed monthly throughout both the spring and summer can prove useful.
Over time, the surface of your pool gets exposed to various chemicals and weather elements, which can eat away at it. This can result in costly repairs or the need to resurface an inground pool. Resurfacing is a major project. You can either hire http://rspoolpatrol.com/pool-resurfacing-tampa/ to do it for you or take it on yourself – but only with a lot of planning and preparation. The following are the steps you need to take to resurface your inground pool.
Prepare The Pool Area
Determine your budget
The average cost for surfacing an inground pool is about $6 per square foot. To get a rough estimate of how much your resurfacing project is going to cost take the total square footage of the pool and then multiply it by 6. Some longer-lasting surface materials such as tile or fiberglass might cost more. Also, this estimate is only for the cost of your basic materials.
Clear off the surrounding area
Remove patio furniture, accessories and other items from the pool area. A lot of debris and dust tends to be spread during a pool resurfacing project, so you should clear away anything from the immediate pool area. Also, tape down drop cloths or tarps around the pool’s perimeter.
Drain and Strip the Pool
Drain your pool
Switch the central pump system of your pool over to either the “backwash” or “drain” setting. Or a submersible pump can be used to cycle water out of your pool. Direct the water to runoff someplace where it won’t cause a flood.
You cannot begin the resurfacing process until your pool is completely empty. Depending on how large your pool is, draining it might take several hours.
Repair or patch serious damage
Examine the inside part of your pool, and look for signs of deterioration such as blisters, crumbling, and cracks. Those kinds of marks might indicate that there are problems with the inground foundation or plumbing of the pool. General wear is something you don’t need to worry about too much since surfacing your pool will fix minor cosmetic imperfections.
For example, a slow leak might be due to the bottom of your pool having a deep crack in it.
If your pool looks like it has any major damage call a pool contractor to have them assess the damage and condition of your pool.
Clean the surface of the pool
Remove larger pieces of debris by hand such as stones, leaves, and twigs. Then use a pressure washer to clean the inside of your pool in order to remove mineral and chemical deposits, stubborn stains, and algae. Even if you plan to resurface your entire pool, cleaning it thoroughly first is an absolute must. Even small traces of debris or dirt can potential ruin the ability of the new surface material to properly set up.
Strip away the existing material
Composite, fiberglass, and plaster finishes either need to be sandblasted or chiseled away down to the underlying concrete to provide the new material with a better hold. Focus on a small area of the surface of the pool at a time. The nozzle on the sandblaster should be moved up and down in order to eat away at the lining. It will usually take 1-3 days for the striping process. Make sure to wear the correct safety equipment.
Dispose of stripped material
Take a wet/dry vacuum and use it to suction up the debris and dust around and inside the pool. Remove the drop cloths or tarps to spray them off.
Select And Apply Your Surfacing Material
These days, there are many different options that are available for pool owners to choose from.
Apply a Basic Surface Material
For a majority of standard or small inground pool, a basic fiberglass or plaster finish will be the most practical option, since they aren’t too hard to install and are readily available. Also, they have a tendency to be the most affordable.
Plaster doesn’t have a tendency to last as long as composite or synthetic materials, so most likely will have to be replaced more often.
Apply a long-lasting finish
For a high-end pool, you can use a long-lasting finish such as ceramic tile, quartz, or pebble concrete for an impressive appearance. Those kinds of materials provide your pool with a durable lining that is also resistant to chemical-related damage, stains, and algae.
Apply epoxy paint
Roll on an epoxy primer that is pool specific from one end of your pool to the other. After the primer has dried, roll on 3 to 4 coats of a topcoat epoxy. A brush should be used to touch up the spots that are difficult to reach. Between coats, lightly sand the epoxy to make sure the next coat sticks. An increasing number of pool owners are choosing epoxy finishes since they are durable, inexpensive, provide a strong seal, and can easily be reapplied in the future.
Mix water and dry plaster together into a large tub or drum until it has a smooth, thick consistency. Use a trowel to spread the plaster across the pool’s entire surface. Make sure you don’t have inconsistencies in thickness or leave any gaps.
Apply multiple coats of fiberglass
Use a sprayer or paint roller to apply a thin seal coat to the floor and walls of the pool. Spray a resin coat over the top. Next roll and said the fiberglass layers to smooth them out and leave to cure.
Let Your New Surface Dry
No matter which material you used to resurface your inground pool with, it will take time for it to set up. Usually, basic epoxy paint dries overnight or in a few hours. Fiberglass and plaster can take several days to completely cure.
Thoroughly Inspect Your Pool
Both the inside and outside of the pool should be inspect. Double check to ensure that all of the lighting elements and plumbing fixtures are sealed properly before adding water. It is the last chance you have to handle things like touching bare spots up or sanding that might have been initially missed, to prevent leaks, which can be quite expensive to repair and require you to re-drain your pool.
Refill Your Pool
After the new surface material has dried thoroughly and you have completed your inspection, fill you pool with water. Then add the proper proportions of salt or chlorine to balance the pH level of the water. You can then start enjoying your resurfaced pool!