Tropical Style

Can You Plant Bulbs in Elevated Wooden Boxes?

Bulbs grow well in containers, including wooden boxes and raised beds. Since lights need well-drained dirt, growing in raised containers is actually better for several species than growing in the ground; it makes it easier to control the soil quality. Containers also protect bulbs from being consumed by burrowing rodents.

Container Requirements

Containers used for bulbs need to have drainage holes. In case a wooden box has no drainage holes, drill a few in the bottom of the container before planting. The size of container is dependent upon the type and number of lights being implanted. As a rule of thumb, smaller bulbs need smaller containers and larger bulbs require more growing space. Bulbs that flower at different times can be planted at several levels within the planting box, and a box that’s 7 to 8 inches deep can accommodate two layers of lights. A pot 14 to 20 inches round will probably hold about 20 to 30 bulbs, based on the size and species.

Wooden Containers

Wooden boxes and containers work well for growing bulbs. The only disadvantage is that timber containers will eventually decay. Most untreated wood lasts at least 2 or three growing seasons. Redwood and cedar are rot-resistant, therefore growing boxes made from these forests will continue longer. Pressure-treated timber additionally has a longer lifespan, but you should be careful to avoid woods that were treated with toxic chemicals like creosote. Another option is to line the planting box with plastic to maintain growing roots and moist dirt from invading the timber. Just make certain that there are holes in the plastic that line with the timber box drainage holes so water won’t accumulate in the bottom of the container.

Bulb Planting Tips

In wooden containers utilized for growing bulbs, use lightweight potting soil mixture that drains quickly but still holds enough water to keep the roots moist. A commercial potting mixture works well enough, but if you want to mix your own potting soil specifically for bulbs, combine 2 parts good garden compost, 2 components regular potting mixture, 1 part perlite and 1 part coarse sand. Planting thickness for bulbs varies depending on the species, and instructions will be printed on the packages. Keep about 1/2 inch of distance between every bulb when planting multiple lights in a container.

Choosing Bulbs

Bulbs that need well-drained dirt and don’t spread quickly are the best for growing in wooden containers. Dwarf varieties of iris (Iris spp.) Grow well in pots because they need well-drained dirt. They’re hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10, based on the species. For spring blooms, daffodils (Narcissus spp.) Also do quite well in pots. Fragrant varieties are available, and they come in a wide variety of colors. Avoid daffodils described as “naturalizing,” because they’ll spread too much for most pots. Daffodils are hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9.

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Tropical Style

How to Boost False Heather Indoors

Also called Mexican heather or elfin herb, false heather (Cuphea hyssopifolia) rises from 8 inches to 2 feet tall with thin glossy green leaves 1/2 to 1-inch long. Tiny trumpet-shaped flowers about 4/10 of an inch round look in the axils of these leaves, usually in shades of purple, though white and pink varieties are available. Native to Mexico, Central America and the southeast U.S., false heather is perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 to 11. Its compact size also makes it suitable to be used as a houseplant.

Light and Temperature to False Heather

Although fictitious heather can tolerate full sun, the color of its foliage reportedly remains a richer green in partial shade. Consider putting it on a windowsill where it will receive approximately four hours of direct sunlight per day, preferably in the morning or day to protect it in the most intense beams of midday. If the plant’s foliage still appears faded under these conditions, move it to your place in bright, indirect light. To avoid worrying your false heather, pick a location where the temperature doesn’t fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit nor rise above 75 degrees during the light of day.

Water and Fertilizer for False Heather

Keep your plant at a well-drained all-purpose type potting soil, and water it if the surface of the soil feels dry to the touch, never allowing that dirt to become soggy or to dry out entirely. Feed your fictitious heather monthly from spring through autumn with a bloom booster type plant food such as 15-30-15, mixing 1/2 teaspoon of its own crystals using 1 gallon of water. Refrain from prying the plant through the winter months.

Pruning and Pests of False Heather

To keep fictitious heather streamlined, cut it back by approximately half in spring. Although not usually affected by insects, false heather can suffer from spider mites if allowed to dry out too often. Suspect the existence of these insects if the leaves have a mottled appearance and seem to be coated with spider webs. To see to the mites, mix 1 1/4 tablespoons of insecticidal soap concentrate with 1 quart of water. Spray the plant thoroughly, covering both of the surfaces and undersides of its leaves, after a week for 2 weeks.

Lifespan and Reproduction of False Heather

False heather generally is a plant that is fleeting and might begin to deteriorate following one to two decades. You can spread it readily, however, by recovering seedlings that have sown themselves beside the mother plant. The smallest branches of fictitious heather often root where they break on the ground as well. If so, you could be able to rejuvenate the whole plant by cutting the original stems back to just 2 inches above the ground.

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Tropical Style

Which Fertilizer Works Best for Corn?

There’s no better, one-size-fits-all recommendation for fertilizing corn (Zea mays) that matches all soil conditions. Some soils contain plant nutrients. The means to ascertain fertilizing needs would be to get your soil tested. There are a few general recommendations that are applicable to nitrogen-loving corn. Water-soluble granular fertilizer is recommended.

Fertilizing Basics

Corn is an annual which will rise in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 11. Corn is wind pollinated, so it’s better for the home gardener to plant three or four rows of corn in a plants in circle or a hill rather than a row. Should you fertilize in a squarefoot, hill or circle mulch recommendations in feet are more helpful than those for duration of row. After you apply fertilizer always water the dirt.

Fertilizing Before Planting

If you do not have your soil tested, operate 6 pounds of water fertilizer before you plant the seed. If you are calculating by square feet of garden, operate 2-3 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer 3 to 4 inches deep to each 100 square feet before planting corn. Until or plow 25 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer to the upper 6 inches of 1,000 square feet.

Fertilizing Young Corn

When your plants have grown four or five fully expanded leaves, apply 1/2 into 3/4 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer no closer than two inches from the bottom of the plants and then rake it

Fertilizing Maturing Corn

Corn needs a lot of nitrogen. Pale green leaves indicate a lack of nitrogen in corn. Add 1/2 pound of urea, 46-0-0 mulch, to each 100 square feet of dirt when corn plants have eight to 10 leaves. Scatter the fertilizer 6 inches in the sides of the plants and water it in the soil. Repeat this with 3/4 pound of urea as soon as your plants grow. Another way to deal with the nitrogen need of corn would be to add 1 1/2 pounds of ammonium nitrate, 34-0-0 once the plants are 8 to 12 inches tall. Sprinkle this at least two inches from the bottom of the plants and then rake it two inches deep.

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Tropical Style

To Force an Violet into Bloom

An African violet (Saintpaulia spp.) Direct sunlight is harmful, although blooms best when climbing in bright light. African violets include a range of perennial plants usually grown as houseplants, though Saintpaulia ionantha and other forms grow outside in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 11 and 12. Growing requirements and excessive color prevent an African violet. With conditions and maintenance violets can blossom.

Turn on the Lights

As soon as it receives eight to 12 hours of bright light a day, an African violet blooms. If your non-flowering African purple’s stalks are long and its leaves are thin and dark green, it is not getting lighting. Place the plant about 3 feet from a west- or window, or put it. Tubes offer the finest artificial lighting for violets and use significantly less power than incandescent bulbs. 2 tubes suspended 12 to 15 inches above the plants for 15 hours a day provide sufficient light to promote flowering. Turn off the lights at night because African violets require eight hours of darkness to promote flowering.

Cool Down, or Warm Up

Excessively cold or hot temperatures stop an African violet from booming. African violets grow best in warm, even temperatures and are plants. Day temperatures from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures from 65 to 70 degrees are perfect. African violets growing in high temperatures stop flowering, and chilled plants become stunted, turn dim and sometimes die. Moving plants that are chilled to a area prevents further damage, but recovery is slow. Remove from windowsills through the nighttime, or put a sheet of paper to offer some protection.

Improve Humidity

Conditions encourage an African violet . African violets blossom and grow best in high temperatures. Place a tray of small pebbles, perlite or sand below the container of the plant and fill the tray with water. As the water evaporates the humidity from the atmosphere around the plant increases. Add water to the tray. Since this can cause roots, do not endure an African violet directly. Water your plant once the soil surface is dry and leave it to drain thoroughly. Water is usually required by african violets growing in clay pots more often than plants in plastic containers.

Fertilize Your African Violet

Fertilizer is needed by A lava . Other signs of nutrient levels include the leaves in the base of the crown spinning light yellowish or green. Fertilize African violet plants with a 7-7-7 African violet fertilizer diluted at a rate of 7 to 10 drops per gallon of lukewarm water. Water the plants with the fertilizer solution instead of water. The instructions of manufacturer might vary, so follow the instructions . Over-fertilization is a problem in violets. Plants create tight centers and rusty-colored leaves.

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Home Cleaning

The Way to Remove & Stains From Glass Tabletops

When water evaporates, leaving minerals behind, water spots and stains happen on glass. Condensation from a drinking glass that is cold melts onto this glass tabletop if you’ve forgotten to use a rollercoaster, and that puddle of water turns into water spots or what appears to be stains. In most cases, harsh chemicals aren’t required to remove stains from glass. White vinegar that is regular eats away at mineral residue, making them easier to remove from the tabletop.

Wipe the surface of the table down with a damp cloth to remove dirt and dust prior to cleaning it thoroughly. This helps stop spreading dirt or dust as you wash.

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the stains or spots using the vinegar solution, allowing the liquid place for 5 to 10 minutes. Wipe away the liquid using a soft lint-free cloth.

If the spray therapy did not remove stains soak part of a fabric in vinegar that is pure. Rest the part of the fabric over the spots or stains for a quarter hour or so. Use the cloth to buff out the spots . No rinsing is essential.

Eliminate a very difficult stain using a toothpaste. Wet the water or stain place, then apply a little bit of toothpaste over the affected area. Use a soft-bristled brush like a toothbrush to scrub the spot. Wipe away the toothpaste using a wet lint-free fabric wash the area with a fresh non-metallic cloth.

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Eclectic Homes

The Way to Fix the Pull Starter on a Cub Cadet Lawn Mower

No matter what new your lawn mower happens to be, it won’t be of much use the pull rope is broken along with when it has a recoil starter. When designing generators manufacturers take this fact. They usually make the starter assembly easy support and to remove, and it is true of Cub Cadet mowers. Kohler engines are used by these machines — that the starter is mounted directly requiring removal of four nuts to dismount it. The fix may entail replacement of recoil spring this rope or both.

Pull on the plug off the spark plug wire to disable the machine. Unscrew the four nuts holding the starter assembly into the engine. Remove the assembly; flip it on, and put it on a flat surface.

Unscrew the plate that holds the recoil pulley into the starter casing, with a screwdriver. Lift off the plate. You should have the ability by lifting it out to remove the Cable. Keep a finger over the spring below the pulley, located to stop it.

The spring inspect. You will need to substitute it When it’s broken. This is sometimes a job that is troublesome, and it’s usually easier to replace the pulley. If the spring remains intact, however, the pulley was not recoiling, it probably fell off the lifting. You are able to restore the starter by substituting the pulley and making certain the spring is mounted.

Change the rope when it’s frayed or broken. Untie the knot at the rope that is old and pull it. Wind the pulley clockwise through six turns, and line up the hole at the pulley with the one at the housing. From unwinding insert a screwdriver during casing and the spokes louvers to protect against the pulley.

Feed the brand new rope through both holestie a knot, and place the knot inside the pulley so that it’s out of the way. Hold the rope securely while you remove the screwdriver, then let the pulley wrap and unwind the rope around itself.

Replace the starter and put the wire back on the spark plug.

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Eclectic Homes

The Way to Change the Leaf Blower into Blower From Vac

Many leaf blowers contain vacuum attachments to assist you pick up yard debris or clean gutters out. Some versions include a feature that is mulching, so once you vacuum grass clippings or leaves, they are cut to use in your mulch pile. When you’re finished with your jobs and prepared to blow leaves or mowed grass out of your yard or into piles, altering the attachments is a procedure that is simple.

Turn off prior to removing any attachments, the leaf blower. Unplug whether the version is electrical.

In on the tab holding the vacuum bag set up, then pull the bag away in the leaf blower. Some versions may use. Hold the bag vertical when pulling it away to keep from spilling its contents.

Remove. While other versions have, on some versions, you turn the tube counterclockwise to launch it.

Close the door over the hole in which the vacuum tube has been attached. Some versions have a hinged door that closes when you eliminate the vacuum tube. Turn the door’s screw with a flathead screwdriver to hold the cover in place. Other versions have another cover piece that you just pop into place until the tabs move. Most models have a safety feature that will not enable the leaf blower whether the vacuum cover is loose or open to function.

Place the blower tubing over the socket. Turn the tube clockwise to fasten it on some versions. Until the tab latches on other, push it, or lower the clamp of the tool to get a secure hold over the peg of the tube.

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Peach Earwigs & Trees

Because they feed on aphids in some garden situations, earwigs are considered beneficial insects, but in trees they feed on the delicate fruit and cause substantial damage. The species of earwig that hurts peach trees would be that the European earwig (Forficula auricularia). The insect is all about 3/4 inch long and reddish brown in color. It’s easily recognized by means of a pair of appendages in the rear end.


Earwigs feed on fruit and tree leaves. Leaves may have signs and jagged holes around the edgesbrought on by caterpillars. To differentiate the harm start looking for webbing and frass, which is excrement that resembles fine sawdust. Both of these symptoms indicate that the problem is caterpillars and not earwigs. Fruit will have narrow gouges.


Trapping makes the usage of insecticides unnecessary and is an effective way to control earwigs. Cubes are made by low-sided cans like tuna or cat food cans with a half inch of oil at the bottom. Use vegetable oil or fish oil with a couple drops of bacon grease as bait. You can use pieces of tube such as sections of a water hose, rolled newspaper or cardboard; earwigs will come across these hiding places without the use of bait. Place the traps just before dark and empty them into a bucket of water in the daytime. Continue putting traps till you are no more grabbing earwigs.

Hiding Places

Practice decent sanitation to eliminate hiding places like fallen leaves, weeds and debris. Earwigs also conceal in mulches and groundcovers as well as ivies. Suckers that rise from the base of the shrub may also give refuge. Earwigs can hide in cracks and crevices in the bark of trees that are peach. From the lower trunk, carefully scrape off the loose, outer bark on trees.

Additional Controls

Earwigs conceal in cool places at night. In arid, Mediterranean climates, the insect is encouraged by irrigation practices. Water trees early in the day when earwigs find a moist hiding place so the surface of the soil around it and the tree have plenty of time. Coating the trunk of this tree with a substance designed to snare insects prevents earwigs from scaling the tree.

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Eclectic Homes

How Can I Replace a Wall Mounted Light Fixture?

Lighting fixtures comprise sconces, vanity lights and designs created for surfaces. Replacing a light fixture that is wall-mounted shouldn’t take more than half an hour , as long as was installed and requires more. Appropriate installation means that it was screwed to an box that’s in turn.

Switch off the breaker. Turn to the light if you are not sure which breaker which is until it goes out and turn breakers in turn off. Switch off the wall switch controlling the fixture, and the pull string as well.

Unscrew the mounting screws holding the fixture. You may turn cosmetic screws by hand or using pliers. Use a screwdriver, Should they have slots. Pull the fixture If the screws are outside and support it while you unscrew the cable caps and then pull the wires apart.

Compare the mounting plate to the electrical box, called the strap or crossbar, to the one provided with all the new fixture. Then you can save yourself time by lifting the new fixture into the strap that is already there if they’re identical. However, unscrew the strap from the box and then twist if they are different.

Straighten the ends of the wires and note their colors. One ought to be black, one white and one bare. Pull the wires out from the rear of the quilt, and you should also find a black and white wire. A wire may be bare or green. Either way, it corresponds to the bare cable in the box.

By joining wires of the identical color — black to black, white to white and white to bare or green to bare connect the lamp into the circuit. Twist the ends of each pair of wires clockwise using pliers. By screwing onto a cable cap insulate the connection.

Push on the wires as far back into the box as they’ll go. Mount the fixture by screwing it into the ring together with all the screws that came with it. Tighten the screws with a screwdriver to fasten the fixture or using your fingers.

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