How to Cut a Hachiya Persimmon

Tasting a Hachiya persimmon before it is ripe is a mistake you’re unlikely to repeat. Oriental persimmon cultivars (Diospyros kaki spp.) Produce either persimmons which are eaten when crispy like apples or else fruit consumed when squishy like gelatin. The Hachiya cultivar falls into the latter category. To say the Hachiya fruit is astringent before ripening doesn’t do justice to the stunning unpleasantness of the contracting effect it has on your mouth. When Hachiyas get so delicate they process gooey, you understand the derivation of their biological title — food of the gods. That’s the time to begin cutting persimmons from your own tree.

Start checking your Hachiya persimmons following Halloween. The fruit of this cultivar generally ripens in November but it might be the early or late half of the month depending on the weather. If the persimmons are pale, firm and appetizing-looking, leave them alone.

Watch for the shade of the persimmons to darken. If the frosty-pale orange shade changes to your darker, richer shade, squeeze a persimmon gently. If the fruit feels just like a little water-balloon, it’s harvest time.

Cut the ripe Hachiya persimmons from the tree using garden clippers or scissors. Make the cuts 1 to 2 inches above the top of the fruit. As you’re snipping along with your dominant hand, hold the persimmon gently in the other so it doesn’t fall into the ground. All persimmons bruise easily but ripe Hachiyas dropped from a height are likely to splatter. After the fruit is detached from the tree, then place it carefully in the basket.

Squeeze each Hachiya before cutting. The fact that many persimmons on the tree are ripe doesn’t mean that all are ripe.

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How to Spray Acoustic Ceilings

Acoustic ceilings, or popcorn ceilings, were incredibly popular in new construction during the 1970s and 1980s. Originally, acoustic material often contained asbestos; today, acoustic material contains little Styrofoam or synthetic balls the size of bee-bees, which make the identical influence on the ground. Acoustic is available in 50-pound sacks of powdered material, and must be combined with water or paint. Some professionals mix the acoustic material directly with the interior paint for the ceiling; that practice, however, can result in hairline fractures at the finished ceiling. The preferred method is to blend the texture with water, spray it on the ceiling and, once it has dried completely, apply at least two thin layers of paint above the dried texture with a paint sprayer.

Room Planning

Planning for new construction is very easy. Use plastic sheeting and masking tape to guard the walls and windows from overspray. You do not have to be worried about protecting the sub-floor from overspray. If you’re remodeling, then the room planning is much more intensive. Remove as much furniture as you can from the space. Protect each one of the rest of the furniture and the flooring in the room with drop cloths. Use masking tape and plastic sheeting to protect all vertical surfaces. Keep in mind, all exposed areas will get splatter in the spraying process. Cover any open or doors hallways with a vertical sheet of vinyl to prevent overspray from impacting those areas.

Ceiling Preparation

For the best possible texture adhesion, consistently clean the surface of the ceiling with a damp clean cloth, and prime the ceiling with a drywall primer. Cleaning the ceiling eliminates dust particles that can prevent strong adhesion between the new texture and the ceiling surface. Painting the ceiling with a primer coat will prevent staining, provide a clean uniform end and protect against future loss of adhesion on sanded, taped joints. Allow the primer coat to fully dry prior to applying the acoustic texture.

Acoustic Texture Blending

Acoustic texture comes in 50-pound bags of powdered mix. Mix the texture with either water or paint, using a electric paint mixer. Whichever method you choose, the consistency of this texture liquid after mixing should resemble lumpy pancake batter. Totally mix the acoustic powder to prevent spraying lumps of dry material on the ceiling. Dry material lumps will mar the end, and possibly lead to loose acoustic texture once it dries.

Acoustic Texture Application

Apply the acoustic texture to the ground with a air compressor and a texture hopper spray rig. In case you haven’t ever done this before, practice with the gear on scrap plywood or scrap drywall before you begin on the ground. Adjust the air pressure during the spray gun to detect the proper pressure setting. Ideally, you need to spray two or three light coats of texture evenly over the entire ceiling, rather than a single heavy coat. The heavier the coat, the greater the probability of creating areas of clumping, or areas where material falls off the ceiling before it dries, on account of the weight of their coat.

Painting Strategies for Acoustic Ceilings

If you didn’t add paint into the acoustic mixture, you’ll want to paint the ceiling with a interior finish coat. Confirm that the new acoustic is completely dry before you paint it. Unless you’re experienced at painting acoustic texture, do not attempt to roll on the paint with a paint roller. Instead, use an airless paint sprayer to gently coat the texture. Apply at least two thin layers of paint into the new texture, allowing each coat to completely dry prior to applying another coat. Don’t paint the new texture with heavy coats of paint, rather than backroll a freshly sprayed ceiling with a paint roller.

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Residential Heating & Air Conditioning Systems

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are complex components in modern homes which regulate the internal atmosphere. As far as the setup of these systems goes, a do-it-yourselfer will be limited by federal and state laws. Multiple factors go into choosing an HVAC unit for your house, not the least of which are size, type and cost.

Heating

The kinds of residential heating systems range from boilers to furnaces to heat pumps, which use water, steam or air. Most central heating systems push air through a set of ducts installed during the initial construction of the house, together with the air coming from vents placed throughout the house. Some old systems rely on baseboard heaters that contain pipes run around the perimeter of a space; hot water is forced through the pipes to provide warmth. Conventional heaters operate on electricity or natural gas to heat the water, steam or air that’s being forced through the unit. In modern combo components, the same ports that push cool air in the summer are used to push warm air in the winter months.

Air-conditioning

Air conditioners include window-mounted and wall-mounted units which cool a single room. The more complex and expensive central air systems use the same duct work as the heat, and the air conditioner is installed alongside the chimney, typically in a basement. Liquid refrigerant cools the air inside the machine via the refrigeration cycle, which is then forced through the ducts or from the unit. When installed properly, the coolant in an air conditioner lasts a lifetime, regardless of how much use the device sees, as the coolant merely circulates from the machine as opposed to being used up.

Geothermal Vs. Conventional

Although the setup costs are considerably more than traditional technologies, geothermal units are shown to offer a 30 percent to 70 percent decline in heating costs and a 20 percent to 50 percent decline in cooling costs when compared with traditional systems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These components use the heat and heat from the ground as opposed to the air or using natural gas and power to switch the temperature within the unit. This is because the temperature just a few feet below the ground stays steady year-round, meaning the machine doesn’t need to work so hard to heat or cool a house. If budget isn’t a concern and you’re looking at a lifelong investment, geothermal is the best option.

Maintenance

Although homeowners cannot install any of these components of an HVAC system themselves, they can offer the routine maintenance required to maintain a system functioning in peak condition. All HVAC methods rely on air filters which need to be frequently cleaned for optimum working conditions. Evaporator coil cleaning foam and solutions are readily available in home improvement stores, allowing you to keep the heat coils of an ac system clean and functioning at peak efficiency. While you can perform the routine maintenance on your every six months or so, see to your HVAC system like a car. Each year you must schedule a visit by an HVAC professional to ensure the machine is working properly. This maintains your HVAC system operating for decades as opposed to just a few short decades.

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The Best Climbing Perennials

Increasing perennials encompass an assortment of plants usually classified by their growth habits, which include twining, by tendrils. Climbing plants also consist of rambling rose, a hardy, versatile plant that becomes a show stopper when it rambles over a fence or other structure. Contrary to vining plants, climbing rose requires coaching to direct its growth.

Twiners

A twiner is a plant that grows by wrapping its stems around the nearest support. Twiners require little care when planted against a hardy supporting structure, like an arbor, trellis or fence. Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, creates large saucer-like blooms and vibrant orange and salmon blossoms that appear in autumn and summer. Wisteria (Wisteria spp.) Is a twining plant that grows in USDA zones 4 through 10, creating white or purple flowers and reaching adult lengths of 30 feet.

Clingers

Clingers have little, adhesive rootlets that cling quickly to your support. Clinging vines are sick advised against a wooden construction, as the vigorous climbers often cause structural damage. However, they easily grow up a brick or concrete wall or even a sturdy arbor, fence or trellis. Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petolaris) eventually reaches lengths of 30 to 50 feet growing in USDA zone 4 through 8. It’s appreciated for the clusters of sweet-smelling white flowers that appear in late spring and summer. Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) is a fast midsummer bloomer with showy trumpet-shaped blossoms, suitable for planting in USDA zones 4 through 10.

Tendrils

Tendril plants wrap lean, wispy tendrils around a supportive structure. Vines that climb by tendrils are usually less rambunctious than climbing vines and are suitable for growing against a chicken wire, chain link fence or other structure with little grids. Grape vines (Vitis spp.) Climb by means of tendrils. These attractive vines are dense enough to make some privacy when providing flavorful fruit. Although fever zones vary, nearly all grape pies tolerate USDA zones of 7 and above. Clematis (Clematis spp.) Is acceptable for growing in USDA zones 3 through 9 and comes in many varieties, providing blooms in shades of blue, purple, scarlet, white and pink.

Climbing Roses

Climbing roses are stunning when trained to grow up an arbor, trellis or fence. Like conventional roses, climbing roses arrive in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Autumn Sunset (Rosa “Autumn Sunset”) is a vigorous, apricot-gold climber that attains heights of 8 to 12 feet. City of York (Rosa “City of York”) is a 8-foot climber with deep green foliage and creamy white flowers. Seven Sisters (Rosa “Seven Sisters”) is a climber that reaches heights of around 20 feet using emerging blooms that are deep purple, gradually fading to pale mauve. Although growing zones vary, climbing roses are hardy plants that are unfazed by freezing temperatures and tough winters.

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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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