Wine Cellars

Full Sun Potted Plants

Windows or outdoor areas getting a lot of sun easily welcome some crops and can kill or stunt others. Only plants that tolerate — even love — glowing light can thrive in a full-sun area. Pick wisely when dressing your glowing spots and the crops will reward you with their health and energy.

Sun Tolerance

A sunny window or window might seem like a perfect place to show a favorite potted plant, however when that plant cannot tolerate full sun, you’ll fight a losing struggle. Plants that need full sun grow fuller with more robust foliage if put in bright light. Windows or outdoor spots receiving southern exposure offer the most intense light for these plants. Garden centers can offer advice, and lots of plants come labeled with directions, including mild tolerance.

Flowering Plants

Bright and cheery with many varieties and colors, geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum) develop easily in pots or containers, requiring full sun for the best vitality. Most frequently an annual, they live well to Zone 10, however they’ll grow inside over winter in a sunny place. Opt for a less clear flowering plant to fill your sunny place with a white bird of paradise (Strelitzia nicolai), which thrives in full sun. The plants likely will not produce flowers indoors, but they’ll grow tall and compact near a sunny window.

Foliage Plants

A bright, sunny place cries out for a nutritious leaf plant, and sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas) fits the bill with its glowing, yellow-green leaves. Complete sun brings out the deepest color within this annual plant, which will trail out of a container for a stunning look. Other varieties come with dark purple or pale green and pink foliage. Try a ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata), an impressive foliage container plant that thrives in complete or indirect sun. In case you’ve got the room for this particular plant that can grow six to 18 feet tall, it can make an impression in a sunny room or outdoor terrace. Ponytails originated in Mexico, so they thrive in sunny, arid conditions.

Herbs

Spice up both your glowing place and your cooking by growing herbs in pots. As long as temperatures remain below 90 degrees F. in summer, many herbs thrive in full sun. Follow directions that come with seeds or bedding plants for proper preparation and pot size to ensure your potted herbs grow well. A few to try at a sunny place include chamomile, thyme, tarragon, chives, dill and parsley.

See related

Saving Water

What's the Largest Bar I Will Put to a Stihl 026?

Stihl manufactures a vast selection of chainsaws for home, agricultural and forestry use, and also the 026 is a lightweight, gasoline-powered version. If you possess a Stihl 026 chainsaw, you’re able to raise its performance by installing a more guide bar, but exceeding the manufacturer’s recommendations for maximum bar length can void the warranty. The longest bar advocated for your own 026 is 20 inches, even whether or not it’s a bar created for low kickback.

Bar Length and Kickback

One of the dangers of operating a chainsaw is kickback, which happens when the chain binds in the wood being cut and throws the saw back toward the operator. Putting a more bar on your own chainsaw can raise the potential for kickback since the extra string in contact with wood raises the chances of binding or contacting a foreign object in the wood, and also the bar is harder to control. Employing a bar that is too short for the wood being cut is equally harmful — if the trick doesn’t clear the other side of this log, the saw could kick back.

Stihl 026 Standard Bar

The minimum bar length to get a chainsaw is 2 inches more than the object being cut. A 14- to 16-inch bar is usually all that is necessary for projects like cutting firewood, trimming tree branches and cutting edge construction timber. The Stihl 026 comes with a 16-inch bar, but a more one could be required to fell a tree or cut a log into smaller, splittable rounds. If the only saw you’ve got around the home is the Stihl 026, you can adapt it to get occasional heavy-duty log work by retrofitting the bar, however there is a limit to the bar length you can use.

Pros and Cons of a Longer Bar

Putting a more bar on your own chainsaw makes it harder to operate, since the extra period increases the force you need to apply on the saw to maintain the string steady. Additionally, it raises the total amount of power the engine has to generate to drive the string, and the engine can burn out prematurely if the bar is too long. The 49 cubic-centimeter, two-stroke engine on the Stihl 026 isn’t designed for a lengthy bar or heavy-duty cutting. Compare it with all the MS 880 Magnum, which will be Stihl’s largest chainsaw. The engine displacement of this Magnum is 121.6 cc, more than twice that of those 026, and it can handle a 59-inch bar.

Stihl 026 Bar Specifications

In order to comply with security standards set by the American National Standards Institute, Stihl advocates using just 16-, 18- and 20-inch bars together with all the 026 chainsaw. The company further advocates utilizing bars with green labels, which identify them as low kickback bars. A green-labeled bar ought to be used with just a harmonious low-kickback series, which can be characterized by a green label. Employing a normal chain using a low-kickback bar actually can raise the potential for kickback. If you select a bar with a yellow label, then the same length restrictions apply.

See related

Saving Water

What Kind of Oil Is Used in a Garden Tractor?

It may just have two cylinders, a fuel tank which holds 4 gallons and horsepower measured in dozens instead of hundreds, however your lawn and garden tractor needs the same attention to routine upkeep as your family car. Although individual manufacturers may have specific recommendations for their lawn and garden tractors and generators, the machines that you depend on to maintain your lawn neat typically use generally available motor oil.

Lawn Tractor History

Following the World War II, new American suburbs created a massive market for lawn mowers — and bigger lawns encouraged the growth of riding mowers for homeowners. From the early 1960s, agricultural machinery firms were building smaller versions of the tractors. Called variously lawn, lawn and garden, utility or garden tractors, in accordance with their size and operate, they have been snapped up by homeowners having more than half an acre of lawn and garden. Many homeowners locate these machines simple to maintain independently although lots of lawn mower repair centers exist.

Tractor Basics

Although a title is on the hood of your lawn and garden tractor, the little motor inside is probably made by one of a few manufacturers of engines. Engines are usually one- or – two-cylinder, four-stroke, air-cooled internal combustion engines. Some bigger utility tractors feature water-cooled or diesel engines, but these engines are finicky when it comes to dust and dirt and are more commonly used for commercial purposes. Gas-driven engines use regular unleaded gas, but the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute cautions against using gas containing more than 10 percent ethanol to prevent damage to the little engine.

Oil Viscosity

Equipment and motor manufacturers promote oil for their products, but also advocate regular motor oil. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) rates viscosity or thickness of oil — and which oil is utilized depends on air temperature. For most of the year at a Mediterranean-type climate, SAE 30 petroleum motor oil is sufficient to maintain modest engines running smoothly. In areas where temperatures dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a multi-viscosity oil using a thinner winter mix, 10W-30 or 5W-30, depending upon owner’s manual recommendations, is utilized.

Other Considerations

Little engines may be sensitive to impurities, so choose reputable brands of motor oil. The American Petroleum Institute classifies oil grade, and one big manufacturer recommends using API service classification SG or better, a premium grade suited to engines which burn off or low-lead gas. Many lawn and garden tractor engines may also use synthetic oil, which extends the temperature range in the ends for 10W-30 oil — provided that the motor has been broken in. Oil change intervals are often as short as after every 25 hours of use in small engines, so check the manual for specific recommendations for yours.

See related

Furnishings

Sanding a Plywood Subfloor

Before you lay any type of flooring, the subfloor should be flat, and when it is plywood, 1 approach to flatten it is to sand it. That is best done using a flooring sander. If you need to remove adhesive from old carpet or shingles, use a floor buffer first.

Flattening the Floor

Prior to installing laminate or hardwood planks, the subfloor should be flattened to a tolerance of 1/4 inch in 10 feet. Going over the floor using a drum sander is the quickest way to try it, and as you do not have to be worried about scratches, you can use tough paper and do the job fast. Before you sand, do not forget to set all the screws and nails and fill depressions and gaps using floor leveling compound.

Removing Adhesive

Adhesives and heavy paint often gum up the paper onto a drum sander, so it is best to remove these using a floor buffer. You can find quite a few of buffer attachments that will do the job fast, including scrapers and specialty adhesive removers. After a treatment using a buffer, a thorough vacuuming and a pass with a drum sander should find the subfloor prepared for a floor covering.

See related

Home Cleaning

How to Keep a Clean and Fresh-Smelling Home

Your home’s odor is an integral part of the overall impression it leaves visitors. A new fragrance suggests cleanliness whilst providing an inviting environment for guests and family members. Musty, spoiled or burnt odors, on the other hand, suggest an unkempt, dirty environment. Treat odors where bad smells lurk to generate a fresh, clean scent impression.

A Fresh Foyer

Entering and leaving guests receive their first and last impression of your house when passing through your foyer. Begin their experience off right by encouraging a new, natural odor in entryways and leaves. Using your favorite fragrances, blend up an aromatic blend of potpourri comprising green chips, dried flower petals and essential oils. Positioned into a decorative bowl, potpourri doubles as an attractive design element. Your foyer is going to be flooded with a aroma that sends and welcomes guests off in scented style. At a pinch, air freshener spray also delivers a burst of scent.

A Clean-Smelling Kitchen

During the process that is cooking or baking, food smells are usually appetizing, however, odors that linger into the next day lose their appeal. Leftover smells with natural deodorizers. Baking soda and white vinegar — both of which can be found in the normal household pantry — do not just cover up odors but stop them from occurring through absorptive properties. Sprinkle baking soda on floors and countertops then vacuum up. Tuck a open container of baking soda from the fridge to catch bad odors; bowls of baking soda placed around the kitchen eliminate any residual smells. Vinegar is a natural cleaner, soap and deodorizer. Mix a solution of one part water and 1 part vinegar, place into a spray bottle and spritz appliances and countertops. Add a couple drops of lemon to the solution to get a odor.

Bedroom Blooms

Musty smelling bedding, furniture, linens and upholstery transform a retreat . Fill cloth bags with potpourri smells with odor. Tucking these herbal sachets infuses cloths . Fabric softener sheets provide odor when potpourri is not available. Launder sheets weekly for fresh, clean bedding, and open drapes to air out and foster the flow of air in bedrooms that are stuffy. Vacuum drapes to get rid of debris and odor-causing dust.

Beautiful-Smelling stinks

They’re a factor of lifestyle while no one likes to discuss toilet scents. Meet the issue head on by cleaning sinks toilets, bathtubs and tiles. Begin using solutions — such as the same homemade vinegar and baking soda goods utilized in the kitchen. Proceed onto store-bought multipurpose cleansers that are stronger if these do not do the trick. Open windows and ventilation fans foster the flow of clean air.

See related

Furnishings

Wood Repair With Epoxy Putty

Epoxy putty is a modern improvement in wood restoration. It’s used mainly — but not exclusively — to get exterior wood repair when rot appears on casings, trim, decking or anywhere else where water has penetrated into the wood. Epoxy resin comes in two parts: a resin and hardener. A third part, the bonding agent, is employed as a precursor to this program of the resin after it’s combined. Epoxy resin is relatively permanent and, after program, can be shaped to match the profile of the existing wood. The repair is nearly impossible to detect after it’s painted.

Scrape off old paint around the broken or damaged area by means of a wire brush. Scrape and chip out any large debris and balls from the rotted area working with a screwdriver.

Install a grinding piece to a rotary tool. Grind out any remaining soft wood working with the rotary tool. When the bit strikes hard wood and the rot or delicate wood is gone, then the pit is ready for the bonding agent. The cavity can be irregular with differing levels or seams.

Use the liquid bonding agent to the cavity by means of a paintbrush. Apply it generously to soak the inside of the cavity completely.

Mix the two-part resin with a putty knife in line with the manufacturer’s directions. It might be tagged as part one and part two, or resin and hardener, depending on manufacturer. Mix the two parts with a flat piece of plywood or scrap wood.

Use the mixed resin to the cavity with the putty knife. Use it just like a trowel to push the resin into the recesses, pits and shapes of the cavity. Complete the program by smoothing and shaping the resin flush with the profile of the current wood working with the putty knife. It’s fine if the puttylike resin is raised up slightly higher than the surface of the wood. Permit the resin to dry overnight.

Shape and mold the hardened resin to match the profile of the existing wood working with a medium-grit file. Fold a sheet of 100-grit sandpaper into thirds and use the sharp edge just like a knife to sand inside tight corners. Roll the seams around a dowel to sand within curved profile lines. Sand the resin smooth utilizing 120-grit sandpaper. Apply paint as needed.

See related

Home Painting

What Kind of Paint Can You Use to Cover Wallpaper?

It is only a matter of time before wallpaper patterns look dated and the newspaper discolors and peels. The ideal solution would be to tear it down, but that’s a challenging job that risks damaging your manicure. The alternative is to paint over wallpaper. However, it is imperative you carefully prepare the surface. Oil-based primer or priming shellac covers the pattern and seals the newspaper against moisture to keep the paper from the glue from loosening underneath fresh paint. You may use either latex or wax paint above the primer or shellac.

Prepare the Wallpaper Surface

Ventilate the work area. Apply wallpaper paste to the underside of peeled-up corners and seams using a foam paintbrush. Smooth the paper back into position to adhere it firmly to the wall.

Examine the entire surface of the wallpaper for bubbles. Cut away bubbled wallpaper working with a utility knife. Adhere the edges with wallpaper paste.

Allow the paste to dry for the moment the manufacturer recommends, then sand seams and edges using a fine-grit seams to make them level with the remainder of the wallpaper surface.

Spackle cut-away sections of newspaper and remaining raised seams with drywall compound and a putty knife.

Sand the vaccine chemical with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth it and make it level with the wallpaper surface.

Wipe the wallpaper with a damp cloth to remove sanding dust.

Wash the wallpaper with a degreasing cleaner and damp cloth. Follow the degreaser package directions.

Caulk the wallpaper edges at the floor and ceiling with silicone to create a moisture barrier.

Let the wallpaper dry thoroughly.

Prime the Wallpaper

Apply a thin coat of primer or shellac into the wallpaper’s surface by means of a paintbrush or roller. Work in a small area at one time. Blend overlapping strokes to get an even finish.

Evaluate the primer or shellac coverage after the first coat dries. Apply another coat if the wallpaper pattern reveals through the first coat.

Allow the primer to dry for 24 hours.

Paint the Wallpaper

Paint the wallpaper using a roller or paintbrush. Work in small sections of wall. Blend overlapping strokes to get even coverage. Enable the paint to dry.

Apply another coat of paint to your walls. Enable the paint to dry.

Evaluate the paint plan to find out whether you need a third coat.

See related

Home Painting

Alternative to Replacing Deck Boards

The rising cost of timber makes replacing decking boards a significant expense, and it’s one which you may be able to avoid. By so doing, then you’ll also preserve the appearance of your deck. Most decking lumber is rot-resistant cedar or redwood, and though it is now warped, cracked or discolored, the wood may still be usable. In many cases, giving your deck some TLC and a brand new seal coat is a cost-effective alternate to board replacing.

Straightening Warped Boards

Decking boards that have been in the sun and rain can’t help being impacted, and a number of them inevitably warp. This becomes an issue if a board pulls out the fasteners holding it into the joists. Replacing the fasteners isn’t difficult — you simply pull out the old ones and drive new ones — but straightening the boards can be difficult. A solution is to work with a bar clamp. Work among the stops into the gap between 2 straight boards and set the other stop on the edge of the warped board, then tighten the clamp to pull the warped board into place. Use extra fasteners to hold it before removing the clamp.

Managing Cracks

Bar clamps are useful for correcting cracks that show up on the ends of decking boards. After spreading two-part epoxy adhesive at a split, you can close it with a bar clamp. The glue is strong enough to maintain most cracks closed after it places, but it’s almost always a fantastic idea to drive a fastener on each side of the crack as a precaution. Epoxy filler is the best material for filling cracks that are too wide to close. Prior to using it, it’s important to dig out any rot that you see in the crack, and also so the rot may continue to spread.

Washing and Sanding

Maintaining the deck a comprehensive cleaning may make a surprising difference to the way it looks. In many cases, sweeping it and then giving it a once-over with a power washer may be all that’s necessary to restore its natural colour and mix the repairs. If you made extensive repairs, however, you may have to sand the deck to mix them adequately. As soon as it’s feasible to sand a smaller deck with a hand sander, you can save yourself stress on your knees and back, and do a better job on any dimension deck, by renting a floor orbital sander.

Sealing

Among the reasons your deck needed repair may have been that the finish had worn away, and a brand new finish coat may be all it needs. If the deck is in full sunlight, a pigmented stain or seal coat provides better protection than a clear one. You might even think about painting the wood if it had been essential to repair extensive damage. Clear waterproofing sealers offer the least ultraviolet protection, so in the event that you’d like to be able to see the wood, you should choose a heavy exterior varnish, such as spar varnish.

See related

Tropical Style

Hardy Plum Trees

Plum trees are a good addition to the landscape, supplying spring flowers and summer fruit. Self-pollinating plum trees provide fruit if they are implanted separately; others require another number planted nearby for cross-pollination. For colder regions, several varieties are hardy trees that can endure harsh weathernonetheless, if you live in a warm area, you will want to pick one that may tolerate humid temperatures that are warm.

American Plum Trees

The native American plum (Prunus americana) is a hardy plum tree booming in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, though it’s been known to rise in zones as cold as USDA zone 3. Growing to heights of 20 feet, the American plum is found wild in thick groupings with branches that spread out and entangle with one another. The tree can live in all soil types and prefers full sun. It produces white flowers in the spring and creamy red or yellow fruit in the summer. Although hardy, the native American plum is not normally the tree of choice due to the slightly smaller fruit size and lack of availability as growing inventory.

American-Japanese Hybrid Plum Trees

Although occasionally contained on the Japanese list of plum trees, hybrid plums change a bit from their complete Asian plum. These hybrid varieties are a mixture of Japanese and American plums and generally well liked by growers, combining the cold hardiness of their American plum using the larger fruit of Asian types. They are usually labeled as Prunus salincia hybrid in their scientific name, to set them apart from other Japanese plum trees. A few of the superior hardy hybrid plums are the “Alderman,” “Toka” and “Superior.” “Superior” (Prunus salicina hybrid “Superior”) grows well in USDA zones 4 through 8 and was developed from the Minnesota University breeding program from the mid-1900s. Developed in 1985 from Minnesota University, “Alderman” (Prunus salicina hybrid “Alderman”) grows in colder climates with a USDA zone range of 3 through 8. Increasing to a maximum height of about 12 feet, this tree does well as an ornamental variety in a backyard setting. “Toka” (Prunus salicina hybrid “Toka”), sometimes referred to as the bubblegum plum, can get as tall as 14 feet and supplies big fruit at USDA zones 4 through 8. Preferring sandy or even clay soil, “Toka” does well in humid locations. To develop fruit on your plum trees, grow more than variety. Most hybrid plum trees will need to develop near other hybrid varieties to be able to pollinate and develop new fruit.

Japanese Plum Trees

Japanese or Oriental plum trees create larger fruit compared to the native American plums; nevertheless, finding one hardy enough to withstand the colder regions can be hard. “Shiro” (Prunus salicina “Shiro”) grows to a height of 20 feet, but comes from dwarf varieties that simply grow to ten feet. Hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9, “Shiro” can also be heat tolerant and creates yellow plums. “Ancient Golden” (Prunus salicina “Ancient Golden”) was released into the U.S. in 1946, produces reddish yellow fruit and grows to a height of approximately 15 feet. Hardy in USDA zones 5 through 10, “Ancient Golden” can also be heat tolerant. “Methley” (Prunus salicina “Methley”) is moderately cold hardy, growing in USDA zones 5 through 8, but is not as heat tolerant. But among Japanese plum trees, “Methley” is among just a few that is self-pollinating.

European Plum Trees

European plum trees are fairly hardy trees, growing in cooler climates, which makes it more difficult to find one that also does as well in warm weather. Most grow best in USDA zones 4 through 8, with some doing better in USDA zones 5 through 8. “Green Gage” (Prunus domestica “Green Gage”) is a special plum using green fruit that grows to a height of about 14 feet; it is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8. It’s been from the U.S for a while, having been brought over from Europe in the 18th century. “Stanley” (Prunus domestica “Stanley”) plum tree creates a good canning fruit that does well in preserves or dried as prunes. It is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8 and grows to a height of 15 feet.

See related

Tropical Style

Pheromone Traps for Fruit Trees

One of the basic tenets of organic and sustainable pest control is using organic defenses efficiently, instead of applying synthetic chemical pesticides. Pheromone-based pest traps are utilized to track pest population maturity times in order that the proper therapy can be applied at the ideal moment. In U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10, most fruit tree insect pests have several breeding cycles annually, since warmer climates encourage prolonged pest activity. Tracking the cycles is a powerful way to decrease pesticide usage and to control costs. You can buy pheromone traps at major garden supply centers or from agricultural providers to assist you monitor the insect pests in your home orchard.

How They Work

Insect traps have been lures. They use bait to attract insects to them, and the secret is to find a bait special to a particular pest control. Pheromone pest traps exploit the Sex attractants given off completely by each species to attract mates. Pheromone lures contain replaceable rubber septa that take the pheromone substances. Lures are applied to the trap, which includes a sticky layer. Insects investigating the lure simply stick to the surface and cannot escape. By examining traps about twice a week, you can monitor the developmental progress of the species and track the phases of the breeding cycle. Lures typically need to be replaced about once a month to maintain effectiveness. Remove insects from the traps each time you check them, and stir the sticky layer to freshen it.

When to Use

Really early spring — February through early March — would be the best time to place traps to find out the first breeding cycle in your area. Insects mature in accordance with “level days,” or days the temperatures are warm enough for them to develop. Recording daily high and low temperatures helps you to maximize trap usage. By tracking insects’ development to adulthood, you can disrupt mating during each life-cycle through the season by using suitable treatments, thereby reducing egg-laying and the resulting hatch of larvae.

Trap Placement

Hang pheromone traps at the northeast side of trees about 6 feet from the floor and approximately 100 feet in from the edge of the orchard. Place traps for various insects no closer than 300 feet apart, so that they won’t interfere with one another. Because pheromones are released to the air from the lure, they sink — because they are heavier than air. Placing the traps at the top third of trees takes advantage of the natural dispersal.

Home Orchard Use

If you have only a few fruit trees in your yard, you may not want to have visible traps littering your landscaping. A pheromone lure placed at the corner of a shed or along a backyard wall can capture a sampling of the insects in your yard. After noticing the insects’ stages of development, you can prevent large infestations by applying suitable treatments.

See related