An exterminator told my friend that when you begin to see ants, they are the scouts. Stop these and you won't have ants. My son discovered that if you spray them with Windex (or any other glass cleaner), they are exterminated. Keep after it for a while and you won't have ants. We have used this for years. 2 days ago our humming bird feeder leaked onto the concrete front porch...the liquid got down in the crack between brick and concrete so there was not way to flush it out. Ants
appeared quickly, I sprayed them with Windex. Watched through the day and kept spraying them. Now ant free! Safe for kids, pets and environment! It is worth a try before you spend hundreds.
Commented 4 days ago
Be careful with repeated spraying with Windex. I stripped the varnish off my wood kitchen
cupboards spraying too often. Find out where they are coming in. Then use Borax powder. You can use a syringe without the needle in it to get it into the cracks of floors and walls.
As a professional deck builder it is amazing looking back at how much things have changed & yet how many things are still the same. One of those items unfortunately revolves around
longevity... Unlike traditional wood decks made 20+ years ago where one could allow them to weather naturally, you would be lucky to get a few year's worth out of a regular wood deck if you tried that now.
In order to enjoy a typical wood deck now it is important that you seal it. No matter if you are a pro or a DIYer, there are two simple rules that I have & hope you will keep in mind no matter what the project is; prepare it properly and follow the manufacturer's directions.
Choosing a sealer:
There are 4 main choices of sealers on the market, each with their own pros & cons. If you are tossing around two or more options, choose the lower tiered item as one can always move up the list but you can't move down it. For example if you are debating between paint & a stain – while you can paint over stain, you can't stain over a painted deck.
· Paint – while many people like the look of paint, this is one of the hardest items to maintain and can easily hide water damaged areas
· Solid Color Stain – while this can look like a paint,it is a stain that gets absorbed into the wood and is easier to maintain, depending on your application some wood grain maybe still visible and it is known to wear unevenly
· Semi-Transparent Stain – For a more natural look with some color, this is the most popular choice, it generally wears more even than solid color, but doesn't protect as well
· Waterproofing or transparent coatings – this will give you the most natural look, but do not hide stains or protect as well
For more on Oil vs. Water Based & other additives: http://bit.ly/DeckSealer
Prepare it properly:
If you ask any professional painter, they will say that on average 80% of their time is spent on properly preparing the surfaces, while only 20% is actually spent applying the product. While this number maybe inflated for decks, just remember that the amount of time spent getting it ready up front, is time well spent.
· Gather all the tools, safety equipment and materials that you will need. Take time to read the directions.
· Check the weather forecasts as most products are very specific on minimum temperatures & when it can be exposed to water
· Make sure the wood is dry enough to accept the stain, sealer, or paint of your choice
· Remove everything located not only on the deck, but around it like furniture, potted plants, wind chimes, etc...
· Cover any plants near the deck to protect them from the overspray & any chemicals you may use.
· Removing any large debris by hand and sweep the deck off, paying particular attention to the area's between the deck boards.
Applying your choice of Sealants:
Do you remember the second rule above? That's right; it's as simple as reading and following the manufacturer's directions. I will give you a few tips though that may or may not be located on the can.
· Apply plastic to any area's that you do not want stain or paint to get on, because once you get started, you do not want to stop to try to clean up an oopsie
· For all stains and sealers, do one complete board at a time – if the you only do half a board or work in sections, you will end up with obvious streaks where the two area's overlap
· Do not over apply the product – in most cases it will result in a flaky or splotchy finish
· Make sure the moisture level of the wood is low enough for work to commence – you do not want to trap all the moisture inside the wood
· Stain or seal all six sides if it is at all possible unless you live by the ocean. This will help prevent moisture from getting into the wood and accelerating the degradation of the finish.
· Let it rest – most paints, stains and sealers take at least a day or more to cure
For more Preparation Tips & other Decking Options; http://bit.ly/HTRC-Decks
This is just a simple little story about how I finally got all the grease off the cabinets above my stove.
I have had a dirty little secret!Everyone always tells me how clean my house is. It's not really. Not since I've had kids. You've seen those cute little signs, Excuse the mess, we are busy making memories or Excuse the mess, we live here? Well that's not really my style. In fact, my house is nothing like the clean it used to be before the kids. I've grown more accustomed to the mess, but so many little things tend to get over looked these days. Many people have exciting goals like running a marathon or skydiving (and I may have just become the biggest loser because I just googled Common goals people have, because I couldn't come up with 2 good ideas), you know what I've always wanted? To put my house on the market and have the ad say, "Mrs. Clean lives here". I'm not kidding, I actually told my realtor I wanted that on my add. She said, your house will sell itself. OK, she was right, but I really wanted that at the time. One thing I've been over-looking lately is my kitchen cabinets. I'm home cleaning today and thought, maybe today's the day to get that grease off the cabinets. Now keep in mind, these are just the cabinets over the stove, and grease is always building up on these cabinets. I wipe down my cabinets frequently, since they are white and show any dirt, but I do tend to "overlook" these top cabinets because I never could seem to get the grime off with much success. I have those god-awful therma-foil and for lack of a better term the surface is "pockey". That means there is a little texture that allows dirt and grease to accumulate. The picture shows best how greasy these cabinets were. I've tried many products before, but today I decided to go for some simple soft scrub and a warm dish rag. I love the lemon scent and use this for a lot of my cleaning. I poured it on my dishcloth and just rubbed it on the grease, and just like that, all of the grease and grime came off. I've tried many other cleaners and de-greasers and seriously never got such great results with barely any elbow grease at all. I might suggest if you are working over your head that you wear some protective eyewear, because trust me when I say, you don't want your break from cleaning to involve trying to get soap out of your eye! Just sayin. Check out the before and afters. It's really pretty amazing!
Commented on Apr 22, 2013
Rosalie M. - I don't know if your wood cabinets are painted. But for wooden cabinets that are
stained, not painted, I find "Touch of Oranges" works wonders (order it on the web). You can use it with a 0000 steel wool pad gently stroking with the grain.. Dirt literally lifts out of the grain. Buff clean and then oil the wood down again.
A little more work after cleaning:.... I used this method to recondition my 70's oak cabinets. After the orange oil, I wiped them down with a stain close to the original color, then treated them with Howard's Refinishing Treatment and then buffed them by hand again. One cupboard had been bleached by the steam from the electric kettle. Almost good as new after.
We will have 3 yards of mushroom compost delivered this week. When I begin filling my first wheelbarrow, I will think about the mulching techniques I have learned from many and various
gardeners over the past 10 years...
What I have learned so far:
1. This is a lot of work! So make it count for double the time & money: add nutrients while you mulch.
2. Apply it 2-3 inches deep to suppress weeds for the growing season. You still may get some, but usually they are easier to pull out of the loose mulch than the firm soil.
3. Make sure to leave your plants some wiggle room. Apply the mulch deeply, but leave it at least one inch away from the crown of the plant. Leave 2-3 inches of space all around tree trunks.
4. Do not apply hot compost (meaning mushroom compost or other nutrient rich sources) to woodland (e.g. ferns) or silver-leaved plants (lavender).
5. For garden areas in which you want to encourage self-seeding plants, use a garden fork to "tickle in" some compost over those areas. Christopher Lloyd talks all about this in his book Succession Planting for Year-Round Pleasure. He also covers many other aspects of ornamental gardens. (It is my favorite garden book\!)
6. If you are mulching with well-rotted mushroom compost, be sure to save some extra for patching you lawn, topping off your vegetable beds (or containers), and even your ornamental containers.
7. You know you are a real gardener when just thinking of rotted plant and animal material gives you excited butterflies in your stomach... as opposed to the queasiness that most people feel in their stomachs.
Whether you are a garden novice or a veteran gardener, you may be aware of the sad fact that our shade garden annual favorite is being denied life by the nasty downy mildew that spreads
all across our nation now. Even if you save your own Impatien seed and keep other garden center plants away from your carefully and lovingly tended imps, you are still vulnerable as this is an airborn pathogen that will stay in your soil from one season to the next. It starts on the underside of the plant where you don't always see it. You won't notice until the leaves turn yellow and fall off, the plant withering and dying. There is nothing as of yet that effectively will combat the virulent attack.
This is my list of alternatives to the dilemma of what to plant to give that same heavenly splash of color in the shade garden.
My top picks are
1) Begonia , green wax leaf, tuberous , angel and dragon wing
4) New guinea impatien
8) Shade coleus
10) Euphorbia 'diamond frost'
15) Fan Flower(Scaevola)
There are a bunch more that will take part shade such as Nicotiana, Salvia, and Sweet Williams.
I will miss the sweet sweet impatien, but while the experts search for a cure, it gives us all the opportunity to step out of our garden box and into the wild new territory of DIFFERENT and awesome plants that will put a smile on our garden faces.#itchingforspring
Plant matter is a resource we should be keeping out of the landfills. But what do you do if you don't have the space for a compost pile or you don't want to be constantly running outside
with your kitchen scraps? Vermicomposting is the answer and , even better,a worm bin is efficient when you're continually adding new material, unlike your outdoor compost pile. Composting at home in a worm tub is most suitable for smaller families and apartment dwellers, or can be used in combination with an outside composting method. A well-tended worm bin shouldn't smell, so some people will keep them in a kitchen cupboard if they're short on space or just want it handy for adding their kitchen waste. The garage or basement are also possible locations for your worm bin. (Note: do not add animal waste, bones, fats or meat to your bins or compost piles. That will make it smell and draw unwanted visitors!)
Follow the easy steps below to set up your own worm bin and begin vermicomposting at home. Set the finished lidded bin on a couple bricks on a tray to collect any drips. You will keep plant matter out of the landfill and have the benefits of compost and compost tea for your houseplants, worms for feeding birds and pet reptiles and going fishing, too!
See my blog post at http://ourfairfieldhomeandgarden.com/diy-pro... for more composting information and worm sources.