Open vs. Closed Vents Throughout the summertime

Although air needs to circulate year-round through the attic, your home will likely be more comfortable if you cover the foundation vents in the winter. They have to be open in the summer, but to protect against the accumulation of moisture that may seriously damage your base.

Dry Summers

In some parts of the nation, summer is the driest part of the year, and moisture abatement doesn’t become a prime issue prior to the winter rains begin. Homes in those parts of the nation benefit from open foundations at the summer since circulating air through the crawl space keeps them cooler. A draft at the crawl space also disappears moisture that may be left over in the wet season. That moisture may do more damage in the heat of summer than it may in the winter months.

Wet Summers

Maintaining the base vents open during the summer is a no-brainer if you reside in a climate with warm, humid days and frequent summer storms. The vents provide crucial air flow that may not just prevent rot but also discourage termites and other pests. Humid air under the house threatens the base, and it may seep through the subfloor and tighten your hardwood flooring, even if the floor is protected by a moisture barrier.

See related

What type of Weed Killer Is Safe for Strawberry Plants?

Strawberries (Fragaria) thrive in mild, coastal climates, but weeds can quickly take their toll by squeezing out lemon crops and maybe introducing insect pests and diseases. Use conventional herbicides as a last resort, and utilize organic herbicides or alternative processes whenever possible. Even herbicides labeled protected can lead to damage under certain conditions. As an instance, in sandy soils, herbicides applied at the recommended level can inhibit plant growth, according to the University of California Davis.

Before Planting

Commercial growers often apply herbicides to kill weeds prior to planting strawberries. These herbicides include oxyfluorfen, flumioxazin and pendimethalin. In the home landscape, gardeners more often utilize glyphosate. Adhere to all package directions carefully and wear long sleeves, shoes and a mask when applying herbicides. Till the soil once weeds die back, and also make another herbicide application if needed, until all of the weeds are dead. Another option is to solarize the soil, which kills grass seeds. To solarize soil, spread a sheet of clear plastic over the ground during warm weather. Secure the plastic with landscaping or stone hooks and leave it in position for 12 to 15 weeks.

Pre-Emergent Herbicides

Pre-emergent herbicides control weeds before they germinate in the spring. These products most efficiently control annual weeds, but may not control all of perennial weeds. Napropamide and DCPA can be implemented to strawberry patches immediately after planting or during the first stages of growth. Adhere to all package directions and water herbicides in well. Corn gluten is a secure natural substitute for artificial pre-emergent herbicides. It works by forming a thin film over the ground, which prevents weed seed germination. Apply it immediately after planting strawberry plants or in early spring for beds that are established. Make additional programs every four to six weeks during the growing season, recommends the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Post-Emergent Herbicides

Killing mature weeds is much more difficult than avoiding weed germination. To deal with these weeds, use a post-emergent herbicide, such as glyphosate. These herbicides are nonselective and will destroy the strawberry plants, too, so be sure to apply them only into the weeds, not just the berry plants. Most strawberry beds are just productive for approximately three years, and in some cases, they are very best grown as annuals. In case your strawberry patch is severely infested with weeds, use a glyphosate herbicide to destroy both strawberries and weeds, and start over.

Other Alternatives

If you continually use one type of herbicide or weed management process, herbicide resistant weeds may replace the weeds you have destroyed. A better bet would be to mix weed management strategies. Install black plastic mulch before you plant fresh strawberry plants. Install drip irrigation and then cut holes in the plastic to plant the strawberries. A mulch of mucous grass clippings or straw can also cut down considerably on grass issues. Finally, do not forget old cultivation. A fifteen hoeing eliminates most annual weeds and even several perennials, especially when plants are young and vulnerable. Since the strawberry plants get larger, they can crowd out many annoying weeds.

See related

The Size of a Gerber Daisy

Gerber daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) can also be called Transvaal daisies, because they originate from Transvaal, South Africa. The members of the sunflower family grow as perennials at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. In wet and cold winter climates, these big perennials are grown as annuals. Just a couple of these plants can fill a huge area in the flower garden.


Gerber daisies produce 12-inch-wide rosettes of spoon-shaped evergreen leaves. The leaves grow up to 10 inches long. Strong 18-inch-tall stems are topped with the daisy-like blossoms. The flowers are held approximately 6 inches above the leaves. One full- grown gerber daisy plant can maintain almost 3 feet of space if the leaves along with rosette grow as anticipated.

Bloom Size

Gerber daisy flowers are available in many bright colours such as orange, yellow and red. The ray petals surround a bronze-yellow or dark-colored center. Different varieties make single and double rows of petals. Some hybrids generate a fluffy-looking blossom. The majority of the flowers grow 4 to 5 inches broad. The magnitude of the blossoms as well as the fact that they are on almost naked stems make them good cut flowers.

Plant Spacing

These flowers can be planted by themselves as showcase plants or bunched together. To fully fill an area with these flowers, plant seedlings 12 to 18 inches apart using the crown a bit above the soil. Since these flowers grow, they have a tendency to dig themselves down into the soil. From the next year, the crown is underground in which the moisture content of the soil causes root rot. The best practice would be to dig up big plants every 2 decades and divide them.

Smaller Varieties

Smaller gerber daisy varieties are called dwarf or miniature. They achieve less than 12 inches tall with smaller leaves and flowers than the standard-sized gerber daisies. These smaller plants are spaced 12 inches apart in the garden and are available in as many colours as the full-sized gerber daisies. One dwarf variety is that the “Jaguar” gerber daisy (Gerbera jamesonii “Jaguar”), that reaches 8 to 12 inches tall with leaves around 8 inches long. The flower stems hold up to five blooms, each 3 to 4 inches across.

See related

Dogwood Vs. Cherry Tree

Nothing says spring rather like a well-shaped tree covered with bright blossoms. Although dozens of beautiful, spring-flowering trees exist, dogwoods and cherry trees are two of the very ornamental. Both are appealing as specimen trees and work well in mixed plantings or in the edge of a wooded area. However, some differences in growth pattern, flowers and ethnic needs may make the other tree much better suited to your landscape.


There are many varieties of dogwoods (Cornus sp.) , but all share a few common attributes. In general, they are about 15 to 20 feet tall at maturity, though they may become taller when grown in colour. Guided slow-to-moderate in growth rate, dogwoods develop a low-branching, gracefully spreading shape that can be somewhat flattened at the top. Their flowers, normally a pure white but pink in certain cultivars, are actually bracts that surround the tiny true flowers. At the common flowering dogwood (C. florida), blossoms precede leaves, covering the bare-branched tree in white flowers in April or May. At the Korean dogwood (C. kousa), bright-green leaves appear first, making a contrasting background for the white bracts, which open in May or even June.

Cherry Trees

Ornamental cherry trees (Prunus sp.) Are sometimes called Japanese cherry trees since they originated in Japan and other parts of Asia. Like dogwoods, many types of cherry trees can be found, however all are famous for their abundant clusters of white or pink, multipetaled flowers that blanket the tree in April. Both commonly grown varieties, the Japanese flowering cherry (P. serrulata) and the higan cherry (P.subhirtella), have a vaselike shape, spreading from a narrow bunch of main branches into a broad crown. They can reach a height of 50 feet or more, much taller than a dogwood, and do best when given a lot of room to expand.

Cultural Requirements

Dogwoods and flowering cherry trees are usually similar in hardiness. Dogwoods are suitable for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 comprehensive 8 or 9, depending on the variety, while Japanese cherries do best in zones 4 or 5 through 8. Both trees prefer ample, well-drained dirt and need moderate water, but cannot tolerate a place that stays wet or soggy for intervals of time. For best bloom, flowering cherry trees require full sun and will drastically lessen their flower numbers in a shady place. Dogwoods, however, are native to woodland areas and can tolerate some shade, creating abundant flowers under all light conditions.


Even though both dogwoods and cherry trees are susceptible to some diseases and insects, in general, dogwoods have a tendency to get fewer serious problems. The common dogwood sometimes develops dogwood anthracose, leaf place or root rot, all fungal disorders, however Korean dogwoods are usually immune to these; another attractive variety, the Cornelian dogwood (C. mas), is basically disease-free. Ornamental cherry trees, though, can be damaged by many fungal diseases, including fireblight, root rot and powdery mildew, while insects like scale, tent caterpillars, spider mites and borers may also cause serious problems. For both trees, the ideal way to maintain a specimen healthy contains good cultural practices like frequent debris removal and early detection of problems and usage of fungicidal or insecticidal sprays when required.

See related

How to Oil a Clock

A mechanical clock, whether a grandfather clock, mantel clock or other mechanical clock, comprises mainsprings and levers to keep the clock operating and keep the correct time. There are particular parts of the clock which need oil every two to three years to continue working properly. If the clock doesn’t become oiled, or if it is oiled improperly, the clock may stop working properly. It may even stop working. You can oil a clock in only a couple of minutes, with a synthetic clock oil kit.

Eliminate the hood of this clock by sliding it forward or lifting it off of the clock foundation to reveal the internal workings of the clock.

Eliminate the time weight (typically on the right) only from the chain (not the strike pounds) if you are working with a clock which uses weights. Separate the pendulum from the pendulum crutch. Hold the fat cable to keep pressure on the movement and take out the strike weight. Eliminate the movement from the circumstance. Slide the hands off of the movement. Loosen the retaining pins and pull the movement plate.

Put the clock movement face down on a table. Put one drop of synthetic clock oil from a clock oil syringe to every oil tap on the clock movement. Turn the movement over and place a drop of oil to each of the petroleum sinks on the other clock plate in addition to the weight pulleys and the front plate posts.

Inspect the clock’s gears and pinions, particularly behind any mounts or levers, for concealed pivot points. Put a drop of oil on any pivot points, gears or pinions in which you find two or more operating mechanical components which are not gravity-driven.

Clean up any oil that may have dripped about the movement, usng a dry cloth. Reattach the movement plate and then hands, then slip the movement to the circumstance. Attach the strike weight, pendulum clutch and time weight before sliding the clock hood back into position.

See related

Troubleshooting for the Oven Pilot Light

The first step in resolving a pilot light problem with your oven is to make sure that the oven has a pilot. Most ovens have a glow bar ignition system, which functions like a pilot, but is more prone to unique issues. If the ignition system of the oven does include a pilot, then it likely also contains a spark igniter to light it so it doesn’t need to keep on and waste gasoline. Some oven makers bypass the need for a pilot completely by formulating systems whereby an electronic spark directly ignites the gasoline.

Open the oven and then reveal the pilot and burner assembly by removing the cover plate and fire spreader, if there’s one. If the oven has a pilot light, you will notice a gas tubing which might or might not have a tiny blue flame burning during its end. If the oven has a glow bar, however, you are going to see an insulated electronics apparatus centered from the burner. Consult an appliance repair person to service a glow bar.

Determine if the oven has a spark igniter by turning the thermostat. You’ll hear a clicking sound and see a spark in the front of the pilot tubing if there’s one.

Make sure the gas is about before proceeding. Clean the tip of the pilot tubing using a needle and then try lighting it. When there’s no spark igniter, hold from the thermostat knob while you light the pilot with a game. Keep the knob in for about a minute after the pilot lights. When there’s a spark igniter, only turn the thermostat on and off until the pilot lights.

Observe the fire. It should be mostly blue and about an inch high. When it is orange or sputters, switch off the gas, unscrew the pilot tubing using a wrench and clean it with compressed air.

Start the pilot again and turn the thermostat up. The pilot flame must stretch, but it normally takes a moment or two for the fire to propagate to the burner. The reason for this is the thermocouple, which prevents gasoline from flowing as soon as the oven is off, must heat to a prescribed temperature before it sends an electric signal to the gas valve instructing it to open. The thermocouple or gas valve might be faulty if the burner doesn’t ignite.

Replace the thermocouple by unscrewing it in the gas valve with a wrench and unhooking the tip in the clip which holds it next to your pilot. Hook on the new one, screw it to the gas valve and then try the oven. Replace the gas valve if the problem persists.

Replace the spark igniter should itn’t produce a spark when you turn the oven. This might entail disconnecting some electrical wires, so have the oven manual handy.

See related

The way to Hard Prune a Bougainvillea Hedge

Bougainvilleas (Bougainvillea spp.) , don’t tolerate frost nicely, growing in frost-free climates in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11, but you can grow them as a houseplant in cold temperatures. Bougainvilleas grow vigorously, supplying a tropical pop of color that stands out at nearly any lawn. Hard pruning, also known as severe or renewal pruning, describes cutting a plant with the objective of spurring new growth. Hard pruning during the dormant season helps make sure your bougainvilleas produce healthy new growth each year.

Mix with 1 part bleach and 9 parts water and soak the blades of the bypass hand pruners and loppers for 30 minutes. Eliminate the pruners and loppers and allow them to air dry.

Cut back all old wood at the center of the bougainvillea, which makes cuts at the branch collars, using long-handled lopping shears. Cut at an upward 45-degree angle to help shield the stubs from rain. Wear protective gloves, a long-sleeved shirt and long trousers when pruning bougainvilleas to prevent injury or distress caused by contact with thorns.

Cut out branches which are diseased or infested with pests, cutting them back to healthy tissue. In case the entire branch is compromised, then remove it at a 45-degree angle at the branch collar.

Eliminate entangled divisions, inward-growing divisions and those that rub against each other. Pick the least-vigorous sections of the band for pruning and trim them back to the branch collars at a 45-degree angle, reducing total divisions by one-half.

Trim back the bougainvillea’s new growth to the first healthier grass to encourage bushy, extensive growth in the subsequent season.

Power up the hedge trimmer. To produce a block shape, position the blades at the bottom of the hedge and trim the branches back 1/2 inch at a time, using brief, sweeping vertical cuts. Alternative between each of four sides of the hedge. Then place the trimmers at the very top left or right of the hedge and , again using brief, sweeping cuts, then trim the top horizontally, 1/2 inch at a time until you achieve the block shape. To create a curved rather than horizontal top, position the trimmer at one of the top corners of the hedge following squaring-off the sides. Employing brief, sweeping cuts, form a shirt that bumps upward and resembles the top part of a sphere.

Place the trimmer at the bottom of the hedge. Shear the side of the hedge, producing brief, vertical cuts at an inward angle to form a cone shape. Work around the hedge, picking the cutting up in which you left off, again cutting upward at a slightly inward angle until you achieve a pointed top using downward-sloping sides.

Cut all weak stems and marginally prune hardy limbs with scissor-action hedge shears to detail and finely tune the bougainvillea’s final shape.

See related

How to eliminate Tomatoes in the Plant

Tomatoes are removed, or picked, from their plant from mid-July during September or when a risk of frost exists. Harvesting tomatoes when they fully ripe is perfect, but the fruits can be harvested anytime throughout the end of this growing season. Green tomatoes can be removed from their plant just one day before frost and ripened indoors. Vine-ripened tomatoes that are evenly red, smooth and firm have the sweetest taste and most powerful fragrance.

Select smooth and waxy tomatoes that are firm to the touch, even if the top of the fruits isn’t a ripe color. Some tomato varieties are red when ripe and other varieties are yellowish.

Hold a tomato with one hand, and then hold the stem on that the tomato grows together with the flip side. Slide the tomato gently to break the stem, avoiding squeezing the fruit and puncturing skin. Repeat the process to get rid of other tomatoes from this plant.

Verify the tomatoes to get holes, specks of decay and cracks. Discard damaged tomatoes instantly to prevent spreading decay.

Store ripe tomatoes in a refrigerator. Wrap unripe tomatoes individually in newspaper. Arrange the unripe tomatoes in one layer, and place them away from sunlight in a room where the temperature is 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scrub tomatoes weekly for ripeness.

See related

How to construct a Tree Planter

Trees require a rather substantial planting place so their roots can enlarge, although the spread and depth of roots varies among tree species. You may prefer to develop trees in containers if you’ve got a small yard or poor soil, but you must ensure that the planter is large enough to accommodate the tree at maturity. For best results, choose dwarf cultivars, which typically grow far more slowly and smaller than conventional species. You can construct your own tree planter using naturally rot-resistant timber, such as cedar or redwood. The finished planter measures approximately 36 inches tall by 33 inches wide.

Lay six 36-inch lengths of 2-by-6-inch redwood or cedar timber side by side vertically on a flat surface, pushing them as close together as you can.

Measure the entire width of the planks, which should be approximately 33 inches given the actual measurements of a 2-by-6-inch board. Cut two pieces of 2-by-6-inch lumber for this span, cutting with a 45-degree angled miter cut on each end so the surfaces of the planter piece with the sides of a photo frame. To achieve this, the base of this angle cut has to be the exact same length as the board measurement, with the top side of the plank approximately 2 inches longer.

Line up the mitered 2-by-6-inch planks using the top edge and bottom edge of this six 2-by-6-inch planks and screw into place with 3-inch wood screws, using two screws for each of these six planks. This completes one facet of the planter; you must create three more sides to complete the box form.

Stand up the four planter sides, then lining up the mitered ends of the flat boards. Drive 3-inch wood screws at an angle through every corner to assemble the sides.

Cut four 36-inch lengths from 2-by-4-inch lumber and screw them to the inside of each corner to add firmness to the planter.

Cut a square piece of three-quarter-inch plywood to fit over the base of the box, then using a circular saw. The square should be roughly 33-inches by 33-inches, but you should measure the measurements for accuracy before cutting the plywood.

Screw the plywood to the base of the planter box sides using 3-inch wood screws spaced 4 inches apart.

Drill several one-half-inch diameter drainage holes, spaced 6 inches apart, in the base of the planter box.

Line the tree planter box with black plastic sheeting to increase the rot-resistance of this timber. Poke holes through the plastic to line up with the holes through the plywood planter bottom.

Lay a piece of wire mesh hardware cloth over the dark plastic to prevent gravel and soil from falling through the drainage holes.

Spread a 2-inch layer of gravel or broken pottery pieces above the base of the tree planter.

Fill the tree planter using a potting mixture of equal parts sphagnum peat, compost and perlite or sand, leaving a few inches to the container border.

Plant the tree at the planter box to the same depth it had been implanted in the first container. Spread 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch on the surface of the potting mixture to help insulate the soil and retain moisture.

See related

Landscaping Garden Ideas for Where Most Leaves Fall

Autumn weather can be unpredictable, however, one thing is guaranteed: the leaves of your deciduous trees will fall. Raking up fallen leaves keeps your yard tidy, prevents dead areas of grass and reduces places where unwelcome garden insects can nest. Bad landscaping choices beneath deciduous trees can mean extra work to clear the leaves and manage the danger of damaging the landscaping together with every pull of the rake’s tines.


The plants you remain under your trees should have the ability to withstand raking. This means deep or broad roots and tough leaves. Shallow-rooted plants can easily be pulled by a rake and delicate leaves can be torn, that will open the way for ailments to become in the plant. Once-established, ferns, like sword ferns (Polysitchum munitum), and evergreen shrubs, like winter daphne (Daphne odora) or Oregon grape (Mahonia sp.) , can be raked around and over without damage. Other good choices are perennials that die back before the leaves begin to fall, like coneflowers (Echinacea sp.) or black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta). Avoid selecting plants that bloom in the autumn, like chrysanthemums, since the raking will ruin the flowers.


If planting deep-rooted plants beneath your tree is not possible because of the tree’s compact root system, then you are still able to add interest to the region by placing in rocks. A couple of medium-sized boulders situated with a few smaller rocks produces a natural-looking landscape under the tree. Since the rocks are heavy, they won’t be affected by raking them around them. Avoid creating a wall of rocks around your tree however. This can produce more work for yourself as you try to get behind the rocks to clean up the leaves. Instead, place a couple of classes of stones with enough room between the classes to pull a rake through. Do not pay for the entire area under the tree with river rock; in the summer the rocks retain heat and can overheat the tree’s roots.


Lighting adds safety and interest to the garden, but can be a headache when leaves fall. Any lighting beneath deciduous trees must be wireless, like solar lights, or so the wires have to be completely underground. Exposed wires are sure to get tangled in rake tines. At the very least, this will definitely break the wire, but might cause electric shock. You also need to select lights that don’t generate heat, like LED lighting, since dry leaves can catch fire if they pile onto heat-generating incandescent lights.


Consider wisely when selecting a mulch for a deciduous tree. Large bark chips and medium-sized bark dust might look appealing, but are easily pulled up together with the leaves as you rake. Fine bark dust remains in place better than other mulches since it doesn’t get caught up in a rake’s tines as easily. When mulching beneath a tree, keep the mulch 6 inches away from the trunk to decrease decay. The mulch ought to be spread to cover the entire area under the tree canopy. Also, keep your mulch layer 3 to 4 inches deep; mulching deeper than this suffocates the dirt and reduces the quantity of oxygen available to the tree roots.

See related