Archive | Home Improvement

13 August 2014 ~ Comments Off

5 Tips to Maintain a Beautiful Lawn

A beautiful lawn enhances the garden appeal of your home and reflects your refined tastes. Getting a verdant garden is not that difficult and can be easily maintained by adhering to these five simple tips.


You should trim the lawn regularly to facilitate thickening of the grass. The pattern and direction of mowing should be altered every time to avoid pressing the grass blades in a particular direction each time. The grass should be shortened by about half. During midsummer, the cut grass height should be maintained to better weather any droughts.

Applying fertilizers

During grass mowing, nutrients are removed. So, it needs to be replenished to promote healthy growth. You should undertake lawn fertilizing every four weeks from spring start. You can buy fertilizers like phosphorous, potassium, and nitrogen and use them as indicated on the packs. The garden soil can be rejuvenated by spading a heavy compost layer into slightly moist soil.  Plants can grow even without nutrition, but the lush production you may be expecting can only be accomplished by feeding the plants suitably. You can also use organic blends.


Watering ensures luxuriant grass that would make your lawn look green and inviting in every season. Watering frequency can be worked out after considering ambient humidity and temperature. The grass turns a blue-gray hue when it needs water. Curled up or limp grass blades are another thing to watch out for.

A new lawn would call for daily watering to facilitate seed germination and developing robust root system. Fully automated and computer operated sprinklers are available that can be programmed for water spraying at predefined intervals. Soaking the ground is advised. You can use mulch for maintaining the soil moisture. Always water in the morning as plants can contract diseases if kept wet overnight. Fungus can take its toll on plants that remain wet through the night.

Controlling weeds and insects

You should weed out plants like white clover, veronicas, etc. You can use root weeders to remove dandelions and daisies as they prominently draw out roots to stop re-growth. Weeds greedily consume the water and nutrients intended for plants. Herbicides are highly effective in controlling the sprouting of weeds. Remember, weeds flourish at an amazingly deadly rate. Consult an expert to learn more about the specific insects that can cause damage to your plants, flowers, and lawn. Buy only the appropriate pesticides if only needed.

Scarification and aeration

Grass roots can grow vibrantly if they get enough air for breathing. Stunted growth may set in if sandy top soil is absent. You need to fill coarse sand in holes dug into the garden with a digging fork. This will prevent stagnation of water on the surface and roots will be supplied with oxygen. Lawn scarification will allow for clearing off dead roots and other rubbish that may have piled up on the surface. This paves way for better growth.

You should avoid walking on wet soil as footsteps will compress the soil, thus driving away the oxygen. You should consider installing stepping stones for walking.

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30 July 2014 ~ Comments Off

Convert Your Backyard Into a Picnic Spot

Whether it’s an afternoon barbecue with friends or an intimate al fresco dinner, there is something about eating outside that makes a meal taste better. As much as we love it, though, many backyards tend to be a bit dilapidated, with worn out furniture and not a lot of style. Why not apply some of your decorating savvy to your outdoor space too?

Plan before doing

Before you make any changes, spend some time thinking about how you want to use your backyard space. Do you want picnics for the whole family? Want a shady spot to read a book? Let your desired uses form the basis for your plans, and work from there. If you want some privacy, do you have a fence, hedge, or something to block the neighbor’s view? You’ll also need a lounge chair or hammock where you can lie down and relax. A small table is ideal to hold your drinks, snacks, books, or gadgets.

A place for entertaining

If you want to have friends over for an evening outdoors, a classic trick is to plan three separate areas: the grilling area, the eating area, and the area to relax, hang out and chat. For the grilling area you can make a smart investment and buy an outdoor kitchen kit. These furniture sets are extremely practical for people spending more of their time outside. Choose counters made of natural stone to withstand tricky weather conditions, and if you’re on a budget, a small grill with an oven and gas cooker should be enough.

For the eating area, add a nice table with a couple of chairs. Rattan and wicker furniture sets are excellent choices. They’re weather-proof and lightweight, so they can be easily relocated. For the relaxation area, a convenient solution is to install a hammock in your backyard.

Buy furniture that will last

Outdoor furniture has to take a beating, much more than it would indoors. It has to survive sun, rain, wind, dirt, sunscreen, and sometimes even snow. In spite of that abuse, it needs to keep looking good. It pays to get some good quality patio furniture. Look for something durable, easy to clean, and stackable if you need to store it inside for the winter.

Get the grill

Eating outside just wouldn’t be the same without the grill master at work cooking some juicy burgers or steaks. You don’t need all the bells and whistles like outdoor sinks, pizza ovens, or the like. Just get a basic, functional grill that’s big enough for the crowd you want to feed.

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16 July 2014 ~ Comments Off

Practical Kitchen Stuff to Give Newly Weds

Bridal registries have gotten a lot more creative these days, with couples asking for contributions to honeymoons, home renovations, and even gifts to charity. But the most popular registry items continue to be practical kitchen items as cookware, small kitchen appliances, and other kitchen gear. Friends typically spend about $80 on a wedding gift while relatives spend about $150. Here are some affordable stuff to consider giving for the bride and groom.


A standard kitchen stand mixer is a perennial item on wedding registries that is affordable. It can be a whiz when it comes to whipping and mixing and scores points for versatility, thanks to its dough hooks, whisk attachment, and liquid blending rod, which is designed to blend soups, smoothies, and more.

Frying pan

If there’s one pan to have, it’s a nonstick 10-inch Omelet Pan, a best buy at only $40. Eggs slide out of the pan with ease and it is superb at evenly heating food. It’s simple to clean and stands up to tough durability tests. Nonstick frying pans can be bought separately or usually as part of 10-piece sets that costs around $200, still a best buy.


Coffeemakers as wedding gifts are still selling like hot cakes and offer the advantage of letting everyone make their favorite brew. They are excellent for brewing speed and no waiting for the water to heat. Java makers are also consistent at filling the cups to the same level and keeping a steady temperature.

Toaster oven

Toaster ovens are good choices to prepare smaller meals. The quartz and ceramic heating elements can cook more efficiently and don’t require any preheating. Corn muffins and frozen pizza come out nicely in tests as well as toasted sliced bread and corned beef.


Stainless steel toasters are now all the rage for wedding gifts. Its ability to turn out evenly browned toast, batch after batch, is quite unsurpassed. It is particularly good at toasting at a range of intensities, ideal for folks with different preferences, and does a good job on single slices as well. Special features include settings for bagels, warming and reheating, and defrosting.


Microwaves are definitely must-haves for cooking convenience. Easy to use, microwave ovens are the fastest to heat water for a quick mug of instant coffee, and are relatively quiet when on high. A very good performer overall, it offers superb defrosting and very good heating evenness.

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