How to Make a Drip Irrigation System

A drip-watering system provides an efficient method of irrigating your own plants. Delivering water directly to the root system, drip techniques eliminate the inconvenience of hand watering whilst enhancing problems which occur when the soil moisture levels frequently rise and rise, such as wilting. Drip systems also use water efficiently, minimizing the wasteful watering of the driveway, sidewalk or street. Most drip systems require small assembly; only laying out the main drip line and snapping on emitters at appropriate places make this landscaping function comparatively simple. The secret is to make certain you have suitable water pressure and calculate the amount of water that the drip line carries.

Call your regional municipal water supplier to inquire about whether a backflow preventor is required. Backflow prevention devices cease water used for landscaping functions from mixing with household water.

Decide how you are going to attach the drip system to its own water source. A Y-attachment on a hose bibb permits you to use 1 spigot to send water to the drip system but also keeps another spigot free for ordinary watering with a hose. If you have an automated irrigation system already installed, connect to the water line with an automatic valve.

Map out the places that would use the drip system. Measure the furthest spot to which you’ll add an emitter. If the measurement is more than 400 feet, plan a second line, since it is the maximum length for one drip line.

Cut 5/8- or 1/2-inch black polyethylene tube to achieve the furthest emitter, adding 12 to 24 inches in the event of a measurement error or problem during installation.

Run the main line tube cut in Step 3 to the places that would use the drip system, tucking it just below the soil line or running it directly next to courage to disguise it. Use hold-downs as required to secure the line.

Attach emitters to the principal line directly whenever the line runs in 3 inches of a plant by snapping the emitter onto the line — the contained barb penetrates the line so that the emitter receives water. The size of this emitter varies according to the needs of this plant.

Attach 1/4-inch microtubing to plants which are farther than 3 inches and attach the emitter to the end of the microtubing. If the plant requires more water, then add more emitters and microtubing to circle the base of the plant.

Attach a water-pressure regulator to throttle back the water pressure from its source, whether a hose or the principal line. The Navy must lower the pressure in the standard of 50 to 100 pounds per square inch, or psi, to 10 to 30 psi.

Examine the program by running it for five to ten minutes. The soil should be thoroughly soaked across the plants in that time. If it is not, the emitter chosen is too little or the plant requires additional emitters to completely circle its base.

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Eliminate Toilet Bowl Ring

Toilet bowl rings have several distinct causes, though all of them occur because of the constant shift between wet and dry conditions in the water’s surface. Pale brown spots that look like rust can be due to mineral deposits and hard water, while black, green or orange rings and streaks might be mould. A pink band is usually caused by a bacteria known as Serratia marcescens. Knowing what’s causing the ring makes it easier for you to choose the best way of getting rid of it.

Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands because most toilet bowl cleaning alternatives are somewhat caustic.

Pour 1 cup of white or bleach vinegar into your toilet bowl and let it sit for 15 minutes if you are attempting to get rid of a mold or bacterial ring. Spray a non-bleach bathroom bowl foam across the ring and up beneath the rim of the toilet bowl to take care of rusty stains from mineral deposits or hard water. Do not use cleansers containing bleach on this kind of stain because bleach can create the stain permanent. Let the foam sit for three to five minutes.

Scrub the inside of the bathroom thoroughly with a toilet brush. Ensure that you receive the space up beneath the rim.

Flush the toilet to rinse away the bleach, vinegar or toilet bowl cleanser.

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The way to Fix Portable Ice Makers Using a Clogged Line

A portable ice maker is a convenient appliance whether you’re having a party or suffering during a summer heat wave. The ice maker quickly produces ice cubes for your sweet tea and other beverages. If you live where the water is tough, your ice maker’s water lines might clog with mineral deposits. If you discover the machine is not producing ice cubes as quickly as normal or has discontinued making ice blocks completely, take several simple steps to clean the lines.

Clean Out Bad Clogs

Put on safety googles and waterproof gloves before cleaning the mobile ice maker. Open the windows and turn on the kitchen lover or work outdoors in a well-ventilated area.

Empty the mobile ice maker’s water reservoir and ice cube storage place.

Mix water and CLR in equal quantities and set the solution in the water reservoir.

Run the ice maker by means of a cycle. The CLR and water solution will generate a green slush. Pour the slush down the sink while the cold water has been running at maximum volume to clean it down and off.

Refill the ice maker ring with clean water and run it through a different cycle. Repeat if necessary to ensure that the CLR is totally removed from the reservoir and interior of the ice machine.

Eliminate Mineral Deposits

Put on safety glasses before blending equal parts of vinegar and water. Fill the water reservoir with the vinegar solution.

Run the ice maker through a ice making cycle. Discard the ice.

Fill the reservoir with clean water and run the ice maker through another cycle to eliminate the vinegar residue. Repeat if necessary to ensure all the vinegar is rinsed from the interior of the appliance.

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How to Clean Floors With Baking Soda, Vinegar and Soapy Water

Vinegar: This versatile component does everything from shining mirrors to creating pickles taste nourished. Vinegar can also be useful for cleaning most kinds of flooring — gentle enough not to damage factory finishes, however strong enough to remove dirt and grime from finished hardwood, vinyl, laminate and ceramic tile. When you add a little soap and baking soda into the mix, your homemade flooring cleaner becomes much more effective.

Combining the Right Ingredients

Combine 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of dishwashing detergent, 1 2/3 cups baking soda with 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar. Stir the mixture until all of the lumps are dissolved; then pour it into a clean spray bottle. Wash flooring in small sections by spraying, mopping away, then rinsing thoroughly with clean water. Don’t skip the rinse, or you are going to be left with obstinate baking soda streaks which are catchy to eliminate.

Tackling Stubborn Stains

Flooring that is stained with spills and mishaps presents an whole new set of difficulties, but based on what’s marring your beautiful floors, either baking soda or vinegar or a combination of the two is likely to undertake it effectively. Apply full-strength vinegar to stains like mildew, soap scum or hard-water deposits; subsequently use a little muscle to clean away the stains. Just be cautious when applying strong vinegar solutions to finished hardwood as it may damage the finish if left too long. And don’t permit any other liquid to seep between the cracks in the boards.

Cleaning Darkened Grout

Stained grout is no match at all for a little baking soda paste applied with a toothbrush; add water into baking soda until it is a paste-like consistency. Next, paint over the grout lines using some other little brush. Follow up with an application of equal parts water and vinegar. Allow the mixture to foam; subsequently begin scrubbing gently. Don’t forget to rinse.

Where Not to Use Vinegar

Several kinds of flooring don’t wear well if you use vinegar to clean them on a regular basis, such as travertine and other natural stones like marble and stone. These kinds of floors are sensitive to acidic materials like vinegar, and if you use it on a regular basis, it may damage the stone. If your floors is any sort of natural stone, play it safe and use a neutral cleaner as opposed to one that is alkaline or acidic. Also, take care not to permit strong vinegar solutions to stay on hardwood for any duration of time as it may cause the finish to peel.

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Will My Camphor Tree Resprout New Growth if It's Severely Cut Back?

If you’ve got a camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora) growing in your lawn, you probably are aware that it’s named for the camphor fragrance its leaves provide off when crushed. The tree only requires light pruning from time to time, however when your tree is outgrowing its area or its dense shade is preventing grass from growing in the area, you can prune if back severely and expect powerful new growth to look, as long as you prune at the ideal time and give the tree some extra care after trimming.

Choosing a Time

Evergreen camphor tree has glossy green leaves. It could possibly be 65 or 70 feet tall when older and, like most broad leaf evergreens, it tolerates heavy trimming, or renewal pruning, rather well. This is especially true if pruning is done in early spring, when the tree is already consented to put out a fresh flush of spring growth After spring pruning, tree wounds also tend to heal relatively quickly because the tree is actively growing. It’s not a good idea to do heavy pruning in fall or summer, because hot summer weather can stress the tree and slow fresh growth, while tender limbs which appear after fall pruning are easily damaged from winter’s cold.

Minimizing Tree Damage

When pruning back divisions on a camphor tree, use freshly sharpened pruning shears to avoid tearing the bark and damaging the tree branches. For high divisions, use a pole pruner with a sharp saw or pruning blade. Wash your pruning blade thoroughly with rubbing alcohol between each cut, to prevent the spread of plant diseases. To decrease the tree’s height, then trim back branches in the outer portions of the canopy. To thin the tree and generally lessen the dense shade under it, remove one of every three or four side branches from its major limbs. Make slanted cuts just ahead of the branch collar, which is the thickened area of bark close to a division’s origin. When shortening small side branches, cut each 1 back into a side branch or cut about 1/4 inch above of a side grass; that helps encourage growth of a new shoot behind the fresh cut.

Giving Extra Care

When you have pruned a camphor tree, minimize shock to the tree by giving it a little extra care can help encourage healthy new development. Add three or four inches of organic mulch like straw or shredded bark into the ground below the tree canopy, to help conserve moisture and keep down weeds. Keep the mulch back about 6 inches from the trunk to stop constant moisture against the bark, which can encourage fungal growth. During dry spells, provide the tree extra water, aiming to get about 1 inch of water per week, containing rain. Use a soaker hose or drip irrigation to minimize runoff of water and make sure the soil is thoroughly moistened.

Plannng Long Term

Camphor tree grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11 and is fast-growing, adding about 2 feet into its width and height each year. Although it grows quickly, it may be best to propagate heavy pruning out over several years, rather than doing all the pruning in one season. Prune some development during the current spring, then observe the tree’s response to choose how soon to prune again. If new development is strong and vigorous, you can safely prune the tree each spring, until you achieve the desired outcome. But when the tree’s response to pruning is slow or new development only appears on a few divisions, wait a year or two to provide the tree a few extra recovery period prior to repeating the pruning process.

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What's the Stringy Stuff Falling From Your Own Oak Tree?

Graceful old oak trees, dripping with strange green plants bring about mind Spanish moss growing on Southern live oak trees (Quercus virginiana). In case your oak is located on the other side of the nation, though, it is probably a Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) that grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10. That stringy stuff hanging on it might be mistletoe, a lichen or perhaps part of the tree.

Under the Live Oak Tree

Often towering over 50 feet with a spread almost as large, based on the variety, oaks are a number of the world’s largest trees. Evergreen live oaks thrive in coastal locations. The coast live oak and interior live oak (Quercus wiislizenii), that grows in USDA zones 6 through 10, have shiny, spiky leaves. The Southern live oak, native to coastal regions of the southeast from USDA zones 8 through 11, plays host to many epiphytic plants, including the iconic Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides), but both of the tree and its fellow traveler Behavior demand high humidity and dampness, which will be missing west of the Mississippi. Spanish moss grows in the same zones — USDA zones 8 through 11 — as its host oak tree.

Live Oak Catkins

Live oaks blossom in spring, creating long catkins that curtain gracefully from the ends of their branches. If your tree is shedding stringy stuff in spring, then it might be engaging in its yearly flowering where the long male catkins let loose pounds of yellow mud and then fall from the tree as fresh leaves push out them. Other oaks create catkins, but live oaks generate impressive batches of their hanging blooms.

Underneath the Mistletoe

One variety of mistletoe (Phoradendron villosum), a parasitic plant, which possibly grows on all oaks in USDA zones 6b through 11. The plants root from the tree bark in the upper parts of the tree. Strands of the shrubby plant arch up to two feet from branches. The female plants produce seeds from the plant’s signature white berries that birds find delicious. The birds spread seeds to lower branches and also to higher branches of neighboring trees. In case your oak tree hosts mistletoe, its oval leaves become visible as the tree sheds old leaves in spring. In deciduous oaks, the plants become evident as the trees shed their leaves in late autumn.

3D Lichen

Lichens aren’t parasitic, but epiphytic — and they’re not officially plants. They live from sunlight along with the moisture from the air. Lace lichen (Ramalina menziesii) resembles Spanish moss in its stringy growth pattern and has been mistaken for its eastern lichen for ages. Lace lichen hangs in long “beards” and tends to grow on trees near rivers. Other lichens also hang from oaks, but lace lichen is striking — and ordinary enough to be assassinated as the state lichen from the California Lichen Society. If the stringy stuff in your oak hangs like good beards, turns gray in the winter or dry season and also breaks off in lacy clumps, it is probably a stringy, or “fruticose” lichen.

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Blackberry Bush vs. Poison Ivy

Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) and blackberry (Rubus spp.) May resemble each other at first glance, but just poison ivy contains urushiol. This chemical, which can be from the plant’s sap, which can cause severe itching, an inflamed rash and blistering after it contacts human skin. Blackberry, on the other hand, provides healthful fruits, even in the wild. Poison ivy is hardy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10; blackberry species’ hardiness ranges vary, with Rubus fruticosus hardy in USDA zones 5 through 10. So poison ivy and blackberry share a few locations. 1 common expression, “Leaves of three, let it be,” often, but not always, holds true if differentiating poison ivy plants from blackberry plants.

Tell-Tale Leaves

Examine the leaves to help distinguish a blackberry bush from poison ivy. Both plants’ leaves develop in a three-leaf design originally, however, as a blackberry bush rises, all its two bottom leaves split into two leaves, leading to a five-leaf cluster. In terms of colour, poison ivy leaves are green while the bottom of blackberry leaves are light green to greenish-white. If the leaves are wrinkly, it’s a blackberry bush. Poison ivy leaves are smooth. Also, some blackberry species possess serrated leaves while poison ivy doesn’t, though some poison ivy leaves are notched.

A Thorny Situation

Should you see thorns or spines on the plant’s stems, then you are likely considering a blackberry bush. Poison ivy doesn’t sport thorns. Thornless types of blackberries exist, nevertheless. So don’t rely solely on thorns to distinguish poison ivy out of blackberry.

Berries of a Different Colour

The ripe fruits of a blackberry bush are dark, ranging from purplish-black to black, and the unripe berries may be red. Poison ivy additionally has berries, but they’re light green when young and grayish-white, white or cream when mature. Blackberry fruits are aggregates, meaning each “berry” is composed of a number of individual fruits which form a single cluster, or berry. Poison ivy has sole berries.

Growth Habit

An elastic plant, poison ivy has a number of growth habits. It can develop as a woody shrub, a creeper that spreads across the floor and as a climbing vine. Blackberry bushes form dense thickets, or brambles, in the wild. When blackberry bushes are elongated, their canes can be erect, semi-erect or trailing.

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Can I Prune Lavender Bushes in February?

Whether you’re using your lavender (Lavandula) crops for exotic cooking, for aromatic oils, or merely for their pleasant scent around your garden, sooner or later, your plants are going to want some cutting back. But February is typically a time when your lavender plants are in their dormant stage, and therefore, it’s not exactly the best time for pruning.

When to Prune

The best times to prune your lavender plants is during the new-growth stage during the first spring, or after they have flowered. The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources recommends pruning after the plants have flowered in the summertime, while Colorado State University’s Extension service recommends doing it as the green leaves begin to come out in the spring. A spring pruning will remove any dead or unattractive old growth and permit new growth to thrive, even though a summer pruning can encourage further summer blooming. Another benefit of pruning after flowering: you’ll get to utilize those attractive, pleasant-smelling flowers in sachets or in bouquets. Whatever you choose — or whether you choose the two options — it needs to be apparent that February is somewhat too early — or somewhat too late — to get ideal pruning.

Frost-Hardy Lavender

If you’re developing a frost-hardy variety of the plant, such as English lavender (Lavendula angustifolia), hardy from U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 8, or lavandin, (Lavendula x intermedia), hardy from USDA zones 5 to 9, a hybrid of Lavendula latifolia and Lavendula angustifolia, you might discover that it blooms more than once annually. If you’re choosing the summer-pruning choice, the best course is to prune right after the flowers bloom, suggests the U.K.’s Downderry Nursery. The nursery specialists there urge pruning back to a plant height of about 9 inches, leaving a few small shoots intact, and then continuing to cut fresh flowers as they bloom.

Other Varieties

Other varieties of lavender are far less cold tolerant, such as Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas), hardy from USDA zones 7 to 10, and French lavender (Lavendula dentata) hardy from USDA zones 8 to 11. These types may bloom only once. Prune them in the summer after flowering, recommends the Downderry Nursery, and leave several blooms intact to permit for new growth, as you would with the other more frost-hardy varieties. If you decide to prune them in spring, do it when new growth starts, cutting away any old growth, avoiding cutting into the woody stems, and departing the new growth intact.

Pruning Safely

Whether you’re pruning just before the end of the dormancy period in spring or you’re doing it after your lavender flowers, it’s always a good idea to practice decent pruning hygiene. To put it differently, be certain that you’re cleaning your pruning clippers and shears so as to avoid spreading diseases from plant to plant and season to date. Brush off any loose dirt, and then soak the resources in a solution of one part bleach to three parts water, which indicates the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

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The Best Floors for Wheelchair Use in Homes

The American with Disabilities Act makes three recommendations for the sort of flooring you must utilize to generate a room wheelchair accessible. Your flooring material needs to have a coefficient of friction of about 0.5; you should avoid high transitions; and carpeting must be firmly connected to the subfloor and have a pile less than 1/2-inch high. Durability is also an issue; wheelchairs are heavy and can quickly wear down some ground coverings.

Non-Slip Floors

The coefficient of friction is a measure of the sum of frictional resistance of a flooring materiall in other words, it is a measure of this substance’s slipperiness. Possible values range from from 0 to 1: The reduced the value; the more lustrous the flooring. Floor materials with a coefficient of friction in the area of 0.5 are deemed slip-resistant. These include these options as hardwood, a few kinds of ceramic tile, sheet vinyl with an embossed surface, luxury vinyl tiles and laminate flooring planks. Thin-pile carpets can also be slip-resistant, but thick carpets are tough to navigate in a wheelchair — they have a coefficient of friction greater than 0.5 — and should be avoided.

Hardwood and Laminates

Hardwood floors are not merely ADA-compliant, but attractive as well, but you should pay attention to the hardness of the wood you select. Softwoods, such as pine and fir, dent easily, while hardwoods with a high Janka rating, such as maple, hickory or virtually any exotic species, should withstand the bumps and grinds of regular wheelchair traffic better. Factory-finishes are harder and less likely to sustain damage than onsite applications. Laminate flooring has a similar overall look and also a factory-finished surface hard enough to withstand dents. Scuff marks come off easily with very little danger of ruining the finish.

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are more water-resistant than hardwood or laminates and are a much better choice for the kitchen or bathroom. The perfect tile dimension is 2 inches square. Larger tiles are more fragile and likely to crack under the weight of a wheelchair, while flooring with smaller tiles are filled with grout lines which scuff easily and are difficult to wash. If the ground has 2-inch tiles, nevertheless, there are enough grout lines to boost traction. This is an important safety concern both for wheelchair-bound people and professionals when moving from the seat to the shower.

Vinyl and Carpeting

Vinyl is a water-resistant choice for kitchens and bathrooms which is cheaper to buy and easier to install, however inlaid sheet vinyl and vinyl tiles are more inclined to be slip-resistant enough to function as ADA-compliant. Luxurious vinyl tiles are another non-slip option; they have a foam backing that gives them a cushiony sense, and they install such as laminate flooring boards. If you must have carpet, the maximum allowable pile length is 1/2 inch, but you should keep it shorter than that to make propelling the wheelchair simpler. It is best to set up the carpet without a financing, and it must be firmly attached to the subfloor.

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What Is the Garden Gourmet Backyard Composter?

The Garden Gourmet Backyard Composter is a self centered composting system which makes it much easier to recycle your garden and kitchen waste. It features the home gardener some advantages over loose composting and above homemade composting bins. One such advantage is size. The Garden Gourmet is very compact, so it lets those with very limited yard space take advantage of composting. It also maintains the compost neatly contained and out of sight.

Basic Physical Description

The Garden Gourmet Backyard Composter bin is just a black plastic container which can hold 11 cubic feet of compost or even scraps. It’s 36 inches high and 24 inches square. It has adjustable air vents on the sides and a hinged lid on top that snaps securely in place to keep compost in and inquisitive pests like raccoons and opossums out. The empty container weighs 29 pounds and arrives unassembled, but it is easily put together without the need for some tools. Those that like recycling will appreciate this bin is constructed from about 51 percent recycled products.

Rodent Protection

One important feature to note about the Garden Gourmet bin is it is available at the bottom to permit liquids to escape. This usually means your compost sits right on the ground. While this might not be a issue, it’s also possible that mice, rats and other sorts of rodents may find their way into your bin. To keep them out, place a display under the composter before you fill it up. This will allow liquids to drain out and prevent rodents from getting in.

Using the Composter

The Garden Gourmet composter is a very simple system. All you want to do would be to open the lid, then toss your scraps in, close the lid and wait, but you should be aware it can take up to two years to complete the composting process. Should you use a shovel or a spade to turn the compost inside the container you can cut that down to as small as three months. Composting also works great if you include a mix of substances, like leaves, grass clippings and kitchen scraps, and chop or shred things before placing them at the composter.

Harvesting Your Compost

When your compost is ready it will be brown and have the look and feel of rich garden soil. The Garden Gourmet is intended to enable you to leave the upper layers of compost hovering while you crop the finished merchandise. It has a door in the bottom that opens, enabling you to scoop out the finished compost and then leave the rest to drop down and fill in where the finished compost was. Once you have eliminated the compost, close and latch the door and the composting process will last for everything which remains in the bin.

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