Browse Month: January 2020

How to Straighten Out Curtains

Curtains add all kinds of great things to a space, from visual interest to delicate shade and solitude, but they occasionally seem to get a mind of their own. No matter how often you tug on them, then they insist on hanging slightly askew. Curtains behave this way for a variety of motives, but with some investigative work and a little bit of imagination you can get them back on the straight and narrow.


Whenever your curtains are hanging twisted, the error may not be with your curtains, but with the curtain pole. The best way to make certain is to place a carpenter’s level on top of the curtain and check to confirm that the bubble is centered. If it is not, you’ll want to look at the brackets to see if one of these is loose. When they’re tight, loosen the screws on tap and one on the bracket lightly with a mallet to move it up or down until the bubble at the level is on true. Tightening the screws on the brackets need to ensure that the curtain pole remains level.


Mirrors which get opened and closed a lot can develop wrinkles that keep them from hanging straight. 1 way to repair this it to carry your curtains down and wash them if they’re machine washable. If they are not, shake them out to remove any dust that may have settled on them. Put your curtains wrong side up on your ironing board and press on the creases and wrinkles out with an iron set at the appropriate heat for the curtain material. Placing a dish towel or pillowcase in addition to the cloth can stop damage if it has a synthetic lining or is extremely fragile.


Sometimes keeping your curtains too tidy can contribute their hanging oddly. Washing can weaken or even remove the sizing that retains drapes sharp. This is particularly true of lightweight sheers. You can place the body back in your curtains by making homemade starch from cornstarch and water. After a good soaking in starchy water, then hang the curtains to dry and iron them or give them a quick spin in a cool dryer with no fabric softener sheet to give them a crisp appearance and the body to hang properly.


Back in the day, royals maintained their skirts from exposing state secrets by having the palace seamstresses sew weights to the hems. If your curtains are hanging crookedly since a number of those threads have shrunk while some haven’t, it is possible to open the hem only enough to slip in weights. The small, metal weight can help pull the curtains down to hang evenly.

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Climate for Blueberry Plants

No more is growing blueberries just for patching in northern climates. Traditionally, blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) Have been grown in regions with cold winters, but as horticulturalists develop varieties which thrive and produce in mild, frost-free climates, blueberry growing is moving south. The older varieties need winter chill to be able to produce fruit while the new southern varieties would be frost-sensitive. To develop lemons successfully, it’s important to get the right variety for your own climate.

Varieties to Cold Climates

Northern highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum) and northern low-bush blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium) are cold-hardy and need winter chilling hours to be able to make fruit. The highbush variety is hardy at U.S.Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 7 while the low-bush variety is hardy in zones 2 through 7. Highbush blueberries produce larger fruit than the low-bush type, which makes them more desirable at the house garden and for commercial growing.

Varieties for Mild Climates

Rabbiteye (Vaccinium ashei) and southern highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum) varieties do not need the winter chilling hours needed by the northern varieties, making them well suited for mild southern spaces. Rabbiteye is just a wild southern indigenous that produces well in mild climates. Horticulturalists developed the southern highbush by crossing northern highbush varieties with the wild rabbiteye types. Hardiness varies dependent on the cultivated variety for both rabbit eye catching and southern highbush, but they are generally hardy in zones 6 through 10.

Blueberry Growing Requirements

All Ninja varieties thrive in acidic soil. For the northern varieties, a pH range of 4.5 to 5.5 is what you need to aim for. When growing warm and southern climate types, the soil can be marginally closer to neutral with a assortment of 5.5 to 6.0. Soil amendments at planting time and mulches that raise the acidity levels in the soil include pine needles, leaf mould, pine bark and peat moss. Blueberries thrive in a sunny place in the backyard.

Blueberry Varieties

Within each type of blueberry you will find a number of different cultivars bread for specific growth habit, leaf color and berry type. Sharpblue (Vaccinium corymbosum “Sharpblue”) is a southern highbush variety hardy in zones 7 through 10. This blueberry retains its leaf through the majority of the season in warm climates. Peach Sorbet (Vaccinium corymbosum “Peach Sorbet P.P.A.F.”) is a dwarf plant meant for warm climates and hardy in zones 5 through 10. Patriot (Vaccinium corymbosum “Patriot”) is a northern highbush variety with foliage that turns bronze and red in fall. Patriot is hardy in zones 3 through 7. Best Hat (Vaccinium x “Top Hat”) is a dwarf blueberry that rises only 1 to 2 feet tall and is hardy in zones 3 through 7.

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The way to Pick Out a Pond Pump

Pond pumps keep water circulating at a pond, preventing stagnant water that helps mosquitoes and algae develop. The pumps also help water flow through the pond filter if one is installed. Pumps are also essential for water features like fountains and waterfalls that are integrated into a pond. Utilizing a pump that’s the incorrect kind or of the incorrect power can cause difficulties. So taking time to select a pump that’s correct for a pond is also an significant part pond establishment and maintenance.

Determine the kind of pump you would like to your pond. A submersible pump is a lot easier to hide and requires less plumbing than other varieties but is marginally more challenging to access for maintenance. An outside or centrifugal pump is easy to access however requires extra plumbing and requires space outside a pond.

Think about the amount of pond water that should be moved in any given time to ascertain whether the job demands a 120-volt pump or a 220-volt pump. A 120-volt pump plugs into a standard electrical socket but has the potential to move only a limited amount of water at once. A 220-volt pump takes a distinctive electrical outlet but is much more powerful compared to a 120-volt pump so that can transfer a large amount of water at once. A 120-volt pump is helpful for circulating water in a pond and for powering a small water feature, including a small fountain. A 220-volt pump is helpful for large-scale water flow and for powering a large water feature, like a nest.

Measure the width and height of each waterfall and other water features in your pond. A water feature’s width helps you ascertain how much water should move at the same time, and its summit reveals just how far vertically the pump should transfer water.

Estimate the pond’s volume by measuring its length, width and depth. Multiply the length by the width to come across the pond’s surface area. Multiply the surface area by the pond’s depth to come across the pond’s volume. If the pond has a sloped or uneven bottom, take multiple depth measurements, multiply them together and divide the resulting amount by the amount of depth measurements you took; the result is the pond’s average depth, which you can multiply by the surface area to come across the pond’s volume. Since the quantity is required simply to ascertain required pump strength, it does not need to be as exact as it would if you were adding chemicals or other substances to the pond.

Compare pump models’ gallons per hour (GPH) evaluations. A pump’s GPH should be at least one-half of this pond’s quantity to ensure proper water flow; koi ponds, however, require a pump having a higher GPH rating.

Check the pumps’ maximum head ratings if you will use a pump to power a waterfall or other water feature. A head rating implies that the maximum height that a pump can increase water; in the utmost height, only a trickle of water is released. Select a pump having a mind rating higher than the height that you want the pump to raise water. Selecting such a pump will ensure proper water circulation.

Consult with the operation charts included on the pumps you believe to learn whether or not each choice features the GPH and mind rating your pond requires. Each operation chart shows the change in performance and pressure that a pump adventures at different heights. The info can help you figure out which pump offers the best performance according to your pond’s volume and maximum height requirements.

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Arborvitae Facts

From diminutive bonsai into the soaring “Green Giant,” arborvitae (Thuja spp.) Seem to hold a special place in the hearts of many gardeners. American arborvitae are split between eastern and western species, but homeowners may also like oriental arborvitae (Platycladus orientalis, also known as Thuja orientalis) and Thuja koraiensis, or Korean arborvitae. Arborvitae has flat, scale-like foliage, which is usually a verdant light, medium or dark green, and appealing cones. The plants typically maintain their foliage nearly all the way to the base of the trunk, giving the plants a pristine, compact look. Depending on the species and variety, arborvitae is relatively low maintenance.


Thuja occidentalis, also referred to as Eastern or American arborvitae, grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 7, however, a number of the several cultivars are hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11. Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) is also called giant arborvitae and typically thrives in USDA zones 6 through 11, as does oriental arborvitae. Korean arborvitae grows best in USDA zones 5 through 8 and may be expanded as a tall (to 15 feet) tree or a tree up to 30 feet tall. Thuja plicata is the longest-lived tree of this bunch, with specimens over 150 years old, while T. occidentalis and T. orientalis live 50 to 150 decades. T. plicata can also be the tallest arborvitae, growing up to 120 feet at cultivation, while T. occidentalis typically gets to 65 feet tall and T. orientalis a mere 50 feet tall.


Numerous Thuja occidentalis varieties afford homeowners a wide variety of choices in proportion and form. Although the species has a conical form, a few smaller varieties would be globe-shaped, such as “Little Gem,” a hammer which only grows to about 3 feet tall, or “Woodwardii,” which grows into a round, 8-foot-tall tree. Thuja “Green Giant,” suitable to USDA zone 8, forms a 60-foot pyramid at the garden. Thuja orientalis “Aurea Nana” is suitable to USDA zone 9 and forms a 4- to 6-foot-tall world with dense, bright gold leaf. “Emerald” forms a 15-foot-tall pyramid of dense, brilliant green leaf and is suitable to USDA zone 8. If the giant Western arborvitae is too much to your smaller lawn, the diminutive “Pygmaea,” suitable to USDA zone 8, grows only 2 to 3 feet high and has a mounding form.


Arborvitae grow well in loamy soil but will tolerate clay and sandy soils, too. In very hot areas, the plants may have to get some afternoon shade. Otherwise, they could grow in full sunlight to partial shade, in highly acidic to slightly alkaline soil, except for Korean arborvitae, that needs neutral to alkaline soil. Arborvitae are usually slow-growing trees or shrubs that rarely require pruning or fertilizer. They prefer moist soil, so supplemental irrigation during prolonged drought or in very dry areas may be critical.


Arborvitae can suffer from occasional insect infestations such as aphids, scale insects and bark beetles. A number of these may be controlled using a hard spray of water from the garden hose, if needed. Too little or too much water may lead to leaf to disappear as well as the tree to become worried. Deer prefer to snack on arborvitae leaf, however some arborvitae are thought to be resistant. Healthy trees usually withstand insects and problems and recover by themselves.

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Bare Root Vs. Balled Grafted Fruit Trees

Before April can stir fruit trees’ dull roots with spring rain, the main system has to be established and intact. When you plant a seed in situ, the young tree grows roots that become a permanent foundation. Many gardeners planting a tree prefer to fast-forward the process by planting a sapling increased in a nursery. Field-grown fruit trees have been presented for sale with bare roots or using roots surrounded by balls of soil. Each has its benefits.

Bare-Root Fruit Trees

The roots of bare-root fruit trees fit the name: the roots are fully visible and have no soil cover. Nurseries sell bare-root trees when they’re dormant, generally late winter and early spring. Although the thin, clipped roots look pitiful, bare-root trees generally establish more rapidly and grow more vigorously than other transplants, since their roots only have to contend with one kind of soil at one time. Another also for capitalism is the fact that bare-root fruit trees cost up to 60 percent less than container-grown plants. Bare-root trees are generally grafted, or so the cultivar of the root-system differs from the root-system of their trunk and branches, often to limit tree size.

Planting Bare-Root Trees

The most important rule of planting bare-root trees is to do it fast, before the tree comes out of dormancy. If delays impose, those bare roots need to be covered with moist soil or sand till you can dig the permanent planting hole. Bare-root trees sit in a planting hole if you construct a cone of soil in the middle for them to rest on, with the tree’s roots spread round the ground. Thorough watering halfway through ground replacement and after planting tamps down the earth and removes air holes. No further irrigation is essential until new growth starts.

Balled-and-Burlapped Fruit Trees

You can buy a larger choice of fruit trees with roots that were dug out surrounded by a ball of soil. Because nurseries generally wrap the ground in burlap, they predict these types of saplings “balled-and-burlapped.” Only young trees that move into dormancy endure bare-root transplant. Since evergreen fruit trees such as citrus are never inactive, field-grown trees can only be transplanted as balled-and-burlapped plants. It is also possible for nurseries to give larger trees in this demo. More work is involved for the nursery, so the prices are usually higher than for bare-root trees, but planting is marginally simpler. Such as root-ball trees, balled-and-burlapped specimens are frequently grafted to hardier or shorter root stocks.

Planting Ball-and-Burlapped Trees

Nurseries offer balled-and-burlapped trees in spring, such as bare-root specimens, but you may also buy them throughout early summer and through the autumn. The planting hole for these types of trees should be a bit shallower than the depth of the root ball since the tree will do better if the top of the main ball sits 2 inches above ground level. When you remove the binding, then the burlap will slide out from beneath the tree. Some types are biodegradable and may be left in the ground to decompose. Gardeners sometimes neglect to remove all of the twine or rope used to hold the burlap and ball collectively, negligence that could compromise the life span of your tree. Irrigation after planting is essential.

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How to repair a Conservatory Roof

A conservatory, also called a sunroom, is a space connected to the bright side of a home that has clear walls and roof that let the sun shine in. Homeowners use conservatories to grow flowers and other plants or for outdoorlike entertaining. A frequent reason for conservatory escapes is deterioration of the seals around the transparent roof panes. Oftentimes, you can reseal the roof rims yourself.

Find Leak

First, analyze the conservatory’s roof in the inside to determine where it is leaking. The best time to do so is when it is raining. Most leaks occur around the edges of the transparent roof panes. If yours is a slanted roof, look carefully. The place where the water drips may not be the place where it is coming in. Once you’ve identified the leaking pane, then you can reseal it with a flexible glass sealing material rated for exterior use.

Scrape Out Old Seal

Lay a ladder against the outside framework of the conservatory so that you can achieve the leaking pane. Gently scrape out the old seal stuff along the edges of the transparent panel with a utility knife, lift the panel and clean all traces of the old sealant in the framework. Put a bead of the newest sealant in the frame, press the clear panel back in place and apply a bead of the sealant around the outer edges. Follow manufacturer instructions regarding putting or drying times to the sealant.

Cracked Pane

If the existing pane is cracked or broken, then apply tape across the pane in several instructions to hold the pieces together while you eliminate the bad pane. Eliminate the old sealant in the framework. Cut a new pane to match the measurements of the old pane, then apply sealant to the frame, set in the new pane and apply more sealant around the outside of the framework.

Leak Sealing

An alternate fix for escapes entails applying a sealant round the leaking pane without undermining it. Climb the ladder to achieve the leaking pane, then remove all debris and dirt, spray window cleaner on the leaking area and wipe clean with a soft fabric. Apply a flexible exterior glass sealant over the leaking area and allow to dry. Wipe the area clean with a soft fabric.

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How to guard the Inside Part of Kitchen Cabinets

To maintain your kitchen’s upper cabinets looking good, lightweight shelf paper on the seams, and creating a habit of drying any wetness off of dishware you might shop there, may be all you need. Protecting the seams of lower cabinets is more of a challenge, however. Leaks, spills and regular use can damage the surface of the cabinet bottoms and even raise the danger of mold and mildew growth. With proper care and maintenance, it is possible to protect the insides of your lower cabinets and preserve their condition.

Start Fresh

If the insides of the kitchen cabinets have already suffered any damage, repair them. Placing a protective covering over existing spills or leaks can trap moisture and create a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Under-sink cabinets are especially prone to water damage, but fluid and food can splash anywhere at a kitchen. Clean spills with household detergent and a damp cloth and dry the cabinet thoroughly with a fan. If you discover a little bit of mold in the cabinets, put on a protective mask and eliminate the mold by wiping and scrubbing the area down with a bleach alternative. Apply a coat of mildew-cide paint to the bottom to prevent future mold growth. If you suspect your cabinets have a significant mold infestation, then consult with a specialist.

Choose a Liner

A kitchen lower cabinets typically serve several distinct functions. The cabinets under the sink typically hold household cleaners. Another cabinets might be utilized to store pots and pans, small appliances or cupboard items. Pick a liner for every single cabinet that provides the protection it needs. Non-adhesive liners, which is removed for cleaning, can be found in a variety of fashions. To get under-sink cabinets, choose a waterproof liner with a smooth feel that you may wipe easily. Use a padded liner to protect the base of a cabinet that houses heavy cookware or canned products. In cabinets that have light use, adhesive-backed paper produces a protective surface that’s affordable and simple to clean. Vinyl tiles provide lasting, heavy-duty protection for cabinet seams, though installation requires some DIY skills.

Install Drawers and Shelves

Liners protect the seams of the kitchen cabinets by spills, dents and scrapes, but a closet storage system also reduces the danger of damage. In deep cabinets, install sliding cable drawers to hold pots and pans. The drawers allow easy entry to heavy cookware without pulling it over the floor of the cabinets. If you use your kitchen lower cabinets as a pantry, outfit them with wire shelves which permit you to store and stack items without creating the prospect of a damaging avalanche of jars and cans. The plumbing in under-sink cabinets makes them vulnerable to moisture from leaks and condensation. You’ll have to be vigilant for water problems in this area, but you can decrease the danger of spill damage from keeping cleaning products in plastic bins.

Keep Them Clean

No way of protecting the interior of your kitchen cabinet is foolproof. Liquids can make their way round the borders of liners and into the gaps between vinyl tiles. Over time, shelf liners may become less successful. To maintain your lower cabinets safe from damage, address any problems as they arise. Check the liners periodically and replace them once they show signs of tear and wear. If spills — which are unavoidable in a kitchen — occur, wipe them up and make sure stains and moisture don’t seep through the liner to the surface of the cabinet seams. The under-sink cabinets require special vigilance. Repair any leaking pipes immediately and continually be on the lookout for mold and mildew.

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How to Dry Dishes and Not Leave Lint

Drying dishes within minutes of washing and setting them in a dish drainer helps them remain spot-free. Some kinds of dishtowels, however, create a issue just as annoying as spots — lint all over the dishes. Towels designed to be equally absorbent and lint-free, occasionally referred to as glass towels, make certain the dishes dry completely with no lint left behind.

Selecting the Ideal Dish Towel

While the look of a single dish towel may fluctuate greatly in the following, so can its effectiveness. Some dish towels made from fabric blends don’t absorb well and leave lint or fuzz supporting when drying, leading to dishes which are still moist and covered in lint. Decide on a cotton or linen dish towel listed as highly absorbent to get the best drying capability; cotton will consume the best. To prevent lint, elect for finely woven dish towels designed for glass and crystal. These towels have been gentle on dishes, absorb water and don’t leave lint behind. Some manufacturers sell microfiber towels designed for dishes and dishes for lint-free drying. If you don’t mind a towel constructed for a different purpose, surgical or “huck” towels, originally made to wash sterilized medical equipment, are absorbent and don’t leave lint.

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What sort of Animal Will Eat My Strawberries From My Garden:

If birds and other pests are crushing your dreams of strawberry fields forever, take heart. Many animals love eating strawberries (Fragaria spp.) , but it is possible to slow the path of destruction. Sometimes, growing strawberries in a pot or patch near the house is sufficient to discourage visitors. In other cases, you might have to construct a chicken wire structure to send the message that trespassers are not welcome.

Furry Fiends

Squirrels, raccoons and deer are opportunistic marauders that will happily eat your own strawberries. Repellent sprays offer some protection, even though they have to be reapplied frequently, especially after rainfall or watering. These work best if you live in a dry climate and use drip irrigation in order that the plants remain dry. Dogs occasionally sample strawberries and dig the plants up.

Feathered Flocks

Most small mammals, including robins, crows and blue jays, believe strawberries, which develop in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10, a particular treat and appear to have a knack for knowing when the berries are only ripe. Even though you’re able to hang metallic tape or tape tins close to the berry spot to frighten birds away, these tactics generally offer only a temporary solution since the birds quickly become used to them.

Crafty Solutions

The most effective solution is to use exclusion or barrier methods that make it impossible for animals and birds to achieve the berries. Spread chicken wire with 1-inch holes above the berries to keep birds away from them, although this method won’t work for raccoons and squirrels that can crawl right under the cable. An alternative is to make a wooden frame or PVC pipe hoop tunnel. Staple or tie the chicken wire to the frame and secure the framework above the berries. To harvest the strawberries, just lift the framework from the way.

Invertebrate Invaders

Sensors are smaller and less obvious than birds and mammals, but they can cause significant damage to your strawberries. Slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids are all common pests. Bury a shallow bowl of beer in the ground level close to the strawberries to attract and drown slugs and snails. Put rolled up sheets of newspaper in the strawberries to capture earwigs that like to guard there. Gather and destroy the papers each morning. To dispatch aphids, spray strawberry leaves thoroughly with insecticidal soap. Apply a ready-to-use insecticidal soap, covering the tops and bottoms of the leaves on a cool, overcast day. Applying it on a sunny day can burn the strawberry plants. Insecticidal soap is safer than many pesticides. Similar to other detergents and soaps, it causes skin and eye irritation and vomiting or indigestion if ingested. Gently wash fruit that’s been treated with insecticidal soap before consuming it.

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