Author: Lila

December Gardening Jobs

December Gardening Jobs

 

Even though the shortest day is approaching and there could be frost about, the gardener’s jobs are never quite at an end. Gardening at this time of year relies on being able to take advantage of milder spells when the weather is slightly more favourable.

 

Trees

After the stormy weather of the autumn it’s wise to make a thorough check of any recently planted saplings to ensure they are still securely upright. When replacing tree ties always leave them slightly loose to prevent disturbance from the wind cutting into the stems. Ornamental conifers with delicate drooping branches can sometimes be damaged by severe snowfalls so it can be helpful to bind them with sacking to help them keep their shape. Providing the soil isn’t frozen, this is an ideal month for planting new deciduous trees such as crab apple or mountain ash.

 

Borders

There can still be the remnants of the summer flowering perennials in the borders. Try to finish cutting them down to ground level before composting the stems. Add generous spadefuls of last year’s compost to the soil and dig in thoroughly to provide nutrients for a dazzling show next year. This is also the chance to plant out tulips in a variety of colours ready for the spring. Wherever there are summer flowering bulbs either lift them for storage or provide a mulch of straw or bark chips. Trim back any overgrown plants in the rockery and complete any displays of winter flowering pansies.

 

Climbers and Lawns

Climbing plants such as clematis may need attention to ensure that their supporting trellises are secure. Varieties that flower late in the year such as the vigorous jackmanii and viticella clematis can appear so overgrown that they need to be partly pruned at this time of the year before being finished in early spring. If the weather is mild, lawn edges can be repaired by cutting out a piece of turf then turning it round so that the straight side now forms the new edge.

 

Roses

Rose bushes such as the large-flowered hybrid tea or floribunda that has masses of smaller flowers are available as bare rooted or container grown plants. Both can be planted throughout the winter as long as the soil isn’t waterlogged. Incorporate a large helping of rich humus or manure when planting each bush to give the roots plenty of nourishment. New bushes should not be pruned until next year.

 

Interesting Plants

Even though the weather might be inclement, there are still interesting plants in the garden. Viburnum tinus with clusters of creamy-white flowers and mahonia japonica with spires of yellow flowers will both be in bloom now until March. Winter jasmine and pyracantha will be full of colourful berries while smaller plants such as the Christmas rose will be flowering throughout the winter months. The lemon flowers of the climbing winter jasmine will add a delicate fragrance which makes it a popular choice around the front door. Visit Garden Read More..

Why Being Frugal With Your Home Improvement Projects Means Spending Money

Why Being Frugal With Your Home Improvement Projects Means Spending Money

 

I know the title may sound counter intuitive, possibly even click-baity, but allow me to explain myself so that you understand where i’m coming from.  If you go back to your econ days where you discussed the concept of economies of scale, you’ll recall that everyone has “specializations” whether it’s for a product or service.

 

If you’re “specialized” you essentially are skilled enough in a service, as an example, where you can perform that service better than you can perform other services.  The premise would be that you trade your knowledge and expertise in one area you are good at for another service you aren’t as skilled in.  The same holds true for products you sell, if you can acquire the material at a lower cost (and make a higher ROI) then you’re better off selling those products than others where you don’t get the same ROI (maybe even negative ROI).

 

So where am I going with this?  The point i’m trying to get across is that the next time you have a rather larger project you need to get done around the house, you need to analyze if it’s really “worth” you taking on the project.  I’m not talking about the cost of the project, more so the value.  I recently encountered someone who tried to put up new drywall throughout his new basement, but it was a project that was a bit over his head.

 

What ended up happening?  The project took much longer than he anticipated, it was severely over budget, it turned out looking very amateurish, and caused strain between he and his wife.  Not only that, but had he stuck to his core competencies, he could have made much more money doing that than it would have cost him to hire a local drywall contractor.  At least he would have paid less in material and the finished project would have turned out very professional looking.  Not only that, but he ended up buying several tools that added to his overall cost and now they are just sitting in his garage.

 

When thinking about outsourcing, you need to weigh out the risk vs. reward as well.  For example, are you willing to climb up to the roof of your house to do some chimney repair?  Are you skilled enough now to fall off the roof and break your neck?  Do you have the proper safety equipment to avoid this?  If you’re using power tools, do you know how to properly use them without injuring yourself?  Often times we feel like we’re invincible, but I promise that a saw doesn’t know the difference between chimney bricks or your finger – either way it’s cutting through it!

 

Whenever there is a project that needs to be done around the house, I always ask myself if it’s “worth” it for me to do it, or if it’s better off being outsourced to a professional.  Can I make more money elsewhere or … Read More..

A look at refrigerator door types and materials

A look at refrigerator door types and materials

Commercial kitchens only work well with the right type of refrigerator to suit the environment. Even the door of your refrigerator can have an impact on the workspace, the flow of the kitchen and the accessibility of products.

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So which type of refrigerator is best for your workspace, and which material is best to use for the door of your refrigerator? Each has its own specific benefits.

Refrigerator door types

It is important to first think of the location in which your refrigerator will stand. Is it in front of a doorway? Are the aisles wide enough, and does it encroach on storage space or fire exits?

There are four types of reach in refrigerator door to consider when designing your commercial kitchen.

Pass thru

The pass thru refrigeration unit provides an effective space to store your chilled products, and it can also allow both the kitchen staff and the front of house staff to access them. Usually standing between the kitchen prep area and the server stations, pass thru fridges enable kitchen staff to prepare, plate and store cold products (for example, desserts), which the waiting staff will then be able to serve as required. Pass thrus are available in full or half door configurations, with either glass or solid doors.

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Swing door

The traditional swing door fridge can make loading and unloading items easier, with a locking feature to hold the doors open. Swing doors can sometimes block the paths of kitchen staff, as they take up further space when open.

Half door

The doors on a half door refrigerator are split in two – which means that energy is conserved and temperatures remain cooler, since you are only opening half of the space in the fridge at a time. These can also block the flow of traffic in a kitchen.

The door material of your refrigeration unit provides different benefits.

Glass door

A glass door refrigerator can provide the ability to see products without having to open the door, but they provide slightly less insulation than a solid door. This type of does allow for quicker work, less opening of doors and easier stocking. These are available at fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/glass-door-refrigeration.

Solid door

These may provide a little more insulation, but staff may take longer to locate products if unable to see them first.… Read More..

Proper Care And Maintenance For Mannington Floors

Proper Care And Maintenance For Mannington Floors

 

Mannington hardwood floors are a stunning addition to the room. Their natural warmth and various widths are a testament to the high level of intricacy that they have. They are one of the best-engineered hardwood floors. Mannington floors are also very stable and resilient. They are budget-friendly, easy to clean, and durable.

Besides, you need just very simple cleaning solutions and equipment in order to clean them. You can have a vacuum cleaner, a dust mop, dish soap, an old towel, a sponge, diluted white vinegar, a spray container, and of course – water in a bucket. Here are five ways to maintain your Mannington flooring.

 

Sweep, Vacuum or Dry Mop the Floor

Just like what you do with shaw flooring, you should sweep your Mannington floors or dry mop them. Cleaning should be easy. Vacuuming can remove the dirt on the floor and keep the wear layer. You should also use laminate floor cleaner directly on the floor itself. If not, then you can use dish soap. Dip your mop into a bucket of clean water. Mop the floor and let it dry. Just take care not to clean with too much water, or you will damage the flooring.

 

Use Hot Water

Mannington and Karndean flooring will have to use hot water to clean them, although this water must not be steaming hot. Hot water is a purifier. Using hot water cleaning should be done once a month or after most of the floor has become dirty. Use a mop cloth and mix 1:8 ration of liquid dish soap and hot water in a bucket. Soak the mop into the solution and proceed with the cleaning. Soap water is an excellent choice when it comes to laminated flooring.

Make sure that when you are cleaning the flooring, you have separated the Stanton carpet first. This list of tips is for cleaning the flooring. Naturally, it does not work on any form of commercial carpets. These materials are very sensitive and may not have the same consistency as your Mannington flooring.

 

Use Vinegar Solution

Whether you are working with Mannington or Karndean looselay, you should take advantage of the cleaning power of vinegar. You should mix around 60 to 80 ml of diluted vinegar with an estimated 4 liters of water. Mix the solution well and use a spray bottle to hold it. As you spray the vinegar solution on a particular area of the luxury vinyl floor, wipe it with a dry cloth as soon as you can. Avoid spraying the entire floor first before you proceed to wipe. This will bring shine to your floor right away.

 

Use a Window Cleaner

Using a window cleaner is effective when removing stains. Use it with warm water for a better effect. Spray the window cleaner on the surface of the flooring in order to get rid of the stains. Afterward, use smooth fiber cloth to wipe the surface. This is helpful in the prevention … Read More..

Concreting Ballast or Separate Pebbles and Sand?

Concreting Ballast or Separate Pebbles and Sand?

 

Many of us enjoy the challenge of completing DIY tasks around our homes and gardens. Our favourites, or at least the most common, are laying paths, building garden walls and installing fence posts. Even building porches and conservatories sneak into the list. As with so many of these amateur projects, we have minimal knowledge of building materials and the tricks of the trade in using them. We know we will need concrete at some stage but what’s best – concreting ballast or a mixture of sand and pebbles?

An Ancient Recipe

Mixing the right formula for concrete is vitally important for the success of your project. The Ancient Romans created the world’s first successful concrete using ingredients that are strikingly similar to today except that they used volcanic ash instead of Portland cement. Their rock solid compound is still very much in evidence in various constructions including the old, but incredibly sturdy Portchester Castle in Hampshire. Look through modern recipes and they will all suggest slightly different quantities of cement, gravel and sand with much of it depending on the eventual use of the concrete.

The Right Mix

At the heart of every good concrete lies Portland cement, a delicious concoction of clinker and gypsum that’s ground to the finest of grey powders. Mixed with water it forms the glue that binds the other ingredients together. Then it’s simply a case of adding sand and a gritty substance such as pebbles. But that’s where some mixes begin to flounder. No end of problems are caused through adding the wrong amounts. Add excessive amounts of builder’s sand and the concrete will become flimsy and weak. On the other hand adding too many pebbles will make it too thick to use. You can adjust the amounts as you go by adding more of one ingredient or another although you could end up with much more than you need. And remember that for best results it needs to be used in less than an hour.

The Best Recipe

Concreting ballast is a specially formulated mix of the most basic ingredients needed to make your concrete the most perfect you’ll ever come across. Together in one bag you’ll find pebbles in a variety of shapes and sizes that will provide ideal spaces for the cement to cling to. Quantities of gravel are included to bridge the gap between the large pebbles and fine sand helping to create the perfect consistency. It’s ready to use and takes all the guesswork out of how much you need to have of each item except the cement and water. It creates an ideal general purpose concrete which can be used for fence posts, walls, hard landscaping and a host of other necessary tasks. Concreting ballast is so easy to use you’ll be searching for new projects just for the pleasure of using it. Contacting Greenvale will take the guesswork out of finding high-quality concreting ballast.

 … Read More..