How to Tell When Soursops Are Ready to Select

Despite its quite unappealing name and odd look, the fruit of this soursop (Annona muricata) delivers an acidic but pleasant, pineapplelike flavor and odor. Soursop trees are tropical plants, rugged in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11. A near relative of the cherimoya (Annona cherimola), soursop is much bigger with one fruit weighing up to 15 pounds. The fruit, which may sprout anyplace on the soursop’s branches or trunk, can resemble a lopsided oval or look heart-shaped and can be coated with a bumpy, dark-green skin. In general, soursops are all set to select between midsummer and midwinter.

Signs of Maturity

Even though soursops should be picked while still business and allowed to ripen indoors, certain conditions emerge when the fruit is mature. If left on the tree, the easily-bruised soursops will fall and maintain damage. When ready for harvesting, spines on the skin soften, along with the fruit lightens into a yellowish-green. The fruit is composed surrounding a center. As harvest nears, margins of the segments become smoother and not as distinct. Additionally, the fruit takes on a bloated look, suggesting that you ought to select it and bring it indoors.

Soursop Yield

The trees are inclined to be a bit shy on creation. Normally, roughly 12 to 24 fruit is born by each . After removing the skin and the seeds, which can be toxic, roughly 62 to 85% of this fruit will be edible. For best production, this tropical shrub favors an altitude ranging from 800 to 1,000 feet above sea level, moderately humid conditions, a sunny location and protection against strong winds. Develop soursops on the south side of a home, if possible. While tolerant of most soil types, optimum production occurs in a well-drained, sandy soil, on the acidic side, with a pH ranging from 5.0 to 6.5.

Storage After Harvest

Within four days per week after picking, the fruit will lead to slight pressure like a mature peach does. You will hold it in the refrigerator for another three to four days Even when the skin turns black, the fruit isn’t harmed. Around the sixth or fifth day, when ethylene production peaks, soursops enter their flavorable stage. Waiting much longer than this, you may find the fruit flavors blander or that it has developed a slightly unappealing odor.

Programs for your Fruit

Cutting a soursop into segments and eating the cream-colored flesh with a spoon would be the easiest way to enjoy the fruit. Dice and add to fruit cups or salads, or serve it as a dessert, sprinkled with sugar and milk. In South and Central America, soursop juice canned and is extracted. You may create your own juice drink by pressing the seeded pulp through a colander or squeezing in cheesecloth. Beat the juice or milk and sweetener, or blend in a blender with a like number of boiling water, prior to straining and adding sweetener. As with the cherimoya, pureed soursops make tasty additions to pastries, ice cream, sorbet and yogurt.

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How Much Electricity Does a Small Freezer Use?

Freezers make it convenient to cook and freeze batches of meals or stock up on bulk frozen products in the grocery store. However, the price and amount of electricity to power the freezer might be a concern for budgetary and environmental explanations. Consumers can take action by comparing the energy usage of different freezer models before making a purchase.

Upright Freezers

Upright freezers generally use more electricity than chest freezers. This is because hot air rises; if a chest freezer is opened, the cold air remains low and inside the appliance, whereas with an upright, the cold air is replaced by room-temperature atmosphere. A new 17-cubic foot upright freezer with auto defrost uses an average of 684 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, explains Efficiency Vermont. A manual defrosting freezer uses just 480 kilowatt hours, which will be approximately 22 percent less energy.

Chest Freezers

A new chest freezer with manual defrost and 18 cubic feet of distance (1 cubic foot of distance more than the upright freezer in section 1) absorbs 432 kilowatt hours of electricity every year, or 10 percent less electricity than the smaller upright model. To learn the annual cost of running the freezer, multiply its kilowatt hours by the utility firm’s rate per kilowatt hour. Each appliance should get an energy guide label with its kilowatt-hour usage. For the ideal energy efficiency, consumers can select an Energy Star-rated freezer.

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How Many Sprinkler Heads Per Valve?

Underground sprinkler systems make it simple to water your yard and keep it green. Knowing the number of sprinkler heads that every valve can manage ensures the setup is suitable for adequate coverage. Each valve covers a zone. The number of sprinkler heads in each zone is determined depending on the water pressure available.

Assess Pressure

Check the water pressure in your home utilizing a water-pressure gauge on the outside tap for the sprinkler system. Make sure there is not any water running any place in the home before assessing the pressure to find an accurate reading. The needle gauge lets you know the pounds per square inch, or psi.

Faucet Output

Calculate the gallons per second to your tap by measuring the time it requires the tap to fill out a 5-gallon bucket. Divide the time measured by five to determine the gallons per second, or GPM. This will inform you how much water every valve zone can manage for optimum output.

Sprinkler Heads

Calculate the number of sprinkler heads for a valve zone by dividing the GPM from the sprinklers’ mind outputsignal, which can be recorded on the packaging. Round down the number so that you don’t exceed the capacity of the zone. Sprinkler heads change in water output depending if they supply a mist spray or stream of water.

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How to repair a Plastic Water Fountain That Leaks

Together with the sound of falling water and the sparkle of reflected sunlight, ornamental fountains may add sense of elegance to the landscape. They can exude tranquility when working properly, but as with any water-holding vessel, a leak leaves a sinking feeling as the water drains off. Pre-formed plastic fountains are hard and seldom leak, but there is a quick fix if they do develop a crack.

Unplug the fountain heater and drain any remaining water in the fountain.

Inspect the surfaces to get escapes. Welding seams — the ridge-like protrusions in the surface of the plastic — would be the most likely places for cracks to happen.

Clean the area around the leak using dish soap and then rinse thoroughly.

Dry the area with a towel and then use a hair dryer to evaporate any water that could be between the cracked pieces of plastic. If it’s possible to get another side of the plastic surface, then dry it in this side also.

Squeeze a bead of silicone caulk over the field of the leak and then push it in the crack using a utility knife. Catch the silicone to cure for the period specified on the product label.

Fill the fountain with water following the caulk has cured and plug in the pump.

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What Does Purchasing a House Having the Encroachment Mean?

Encroachments come in all sizes and shapes and consist of a property improvement which crosses or protrudes within an established line like a neighbor’s property line or a established building setback line. Purchasing property subject to an encroachment means you’re conscious of the encroachment and eager to assume any danger associated with it. Some people can be willing to assume the risk related to a minor encroachment but seldom will you find someone eager to take on the issues associated with a major one.

Minor Encroachments

Encroachments are generally discovered while inspecting a survey which details the land lines and also locates all buildings and improvements. Many do not influence the house in any way, just the property upon which it sits. Minor encroachments may consist of a fence, portable outside shed, doghouse or backyard spot that crosses a property line. The encroaching object may belong to your seller and cross onto the neighboring property or belong to the neighbor and also encroach onto your seller’s property.

Major Encroachments

If part of the house or an affixed building, like a detached garage, crosses the neighboring land line, it is a significant encroachment with the prospect of severe consequences. Such effects may also occur if a house or other prohibited building crosses over or violates a government or even developer-established discount line. A major encroachment might lead to the evaluation of monetary settlement or a court-ordered removal of this construction.

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The way to have Black Areas Away of Dried Gourds

Ornamental gourds do not produce edible fruits, but instead they are used for craft and decoration projects. Gourds from the Langenaria family, such as bottle and dipper gourds, are generally cured and dried for later use. Mold can develop on the gourd surface since it heals, which results in mottling and stains some discover desirable for decorating purposes. If you would rather a gourd without mottling, or in case dark spots look, you can wash them away and create your dried gourds almost uniform in color.

Dilute 1 part chlorine bleach in 9 parts water. Wipe down the gourds with the bleach solution prior to curing to prevent some mold growth and reduce the chances of dark spots.

Cure the gourds in one layer in a dry, dark, cool place for approximately six months, or until the shells become hard and the seeds rattle inside. Turn the gourds once or twice per week all sides dry evenly.

Dip a rag to a solution of 1 part chlorine bleach and 9 parts water. Alternatively, use rubbing alcohol. Rub the outside of the dried gourd harshly together with the rag to remove any mold on the surface.

Scrub the washed gourd with fine steel wool or fine-grain seams until the dark spots come away. Wipe the gourd with a damp rag to remove the sanding residue.

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Great Self-Pollinating Fruit Trees for Inside

While some fruit crops require cross-pollination in order to produce a harvest, others are self-fruitful and don’t need the pollen of other plants during reproduction. Self-pollinating fruit trees are best for indoor container plants because you just need one so as to reap the benefits of a harvest. As long as they get at least six hours of sun every day, have good ventilation and get a yearly pruning to maintain an amenable size, they’ll thrive inside.

Peaches and Nectarines

You can grow juicy, sweet peaches and nectarines from indoor trees. All these self-fruitful stone fruit bloom in the spring and grow during the summer. You can select the fruit in the fall before the plant goes dormant again for the winter. Genetic dwarf peaches and nectarines generally grow to approximately 6 to 8 feet tall. Honey Babe and Pix-Zee are genetic dwarf peaches perfect for inside. Bonanza is another true genetic dwarf but smaller. It grows to approximately 5 to 6 feet tall and also blooms earlier than many varieties of peaches. Genetic dwarf nectarines include Nectarina and Nectar-Zee.


You have plenty of options when it comes to choosing citrus plants to grow inside. Most citrus, including oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes and kumquats, are self-pollinating and possess dwarf varieties. Like their full-sized relatives, they create fragrant blossoms and edible fruit. Varieties of strawberries good for inside include dwarf Valencias and Mandarins. Apart from citrus plants to pick from include Meyer lemons, Kaffir limes, redblush grapefruit and dwarf Bearrs limes.


Even though figs can grow into big, spreading trees out, if pruned properly, some varieties can be kept under 8 feet tall inside. The trees have distinct bright green hairy leaves and make fruit for dried snacks, preserves and cooked dishes. You can also store dried figs for several months. The Black Jack semi dwarf fig is receptive to indoor environments.

Persimmon and Loquats

Persimmons and apricots are also self-pollinating fruit that taste good from the tree or in recipes. Once established, persimmon trees require little maintenance and will grow in an assortment of soil surroundings. Self-fruiting persimmons are seedless. Loquats produce fragrant white blossoms followed by petite, round orange and yellow fruit with white orange flesh. Advance is a genetic dwarf loquat and grows to 5 feet tall.

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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.


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 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.


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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