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Monthly Archives: September 2018

Teakwood Garden Furniture

Indonesian teak garden furniture is a great place to start for your outdoor improvement project. Dining tables with matching chairs are very useful additions to your patio. Once you decide on the size of your table you can choose chairs with or without brass hardware. Brass is used in the construction of folding teak chairs because it will never rust. This makes the chairs easier to recline, fold and unfold, and can also help create a more intricate design. Teakwood chairs can also be made without hardware and they are just as durable. Teak patio furniture is the best investment for your outdoor garden and living space.

Teakwood is very simple to care for because the high oil content of the wood makes it very resistant to the elements and many owners leave their furniture outdoors all year. Teak oil can be used once a month to retain its luster and you can find it at your local home improvement center at minimal cost. It can be applied with a soft cloth and rubbed into the wood to produce a natural shine. You should oil your teakwood if it is outside on a regular basis to keep the nice light brown color. But, if you choose not perform a monthly application to your teakwood it will still retain is strong structure. Teakwood that is not maintained with teak oil will turn a beautiful silvery gray giving it a more rustic appeal. Furniture that is kept indoors and is oiled a few times a year will maintain a light brown color.

The tight grain and high oil content of teakwood make it resistant to the forces of Nature that can destroy other outdoor furniture. It can withstand wind, rain, and sunlight without warping, shrinking or rotting. Lawn furniture can make a dramatic improvement to your outdoor space when choosing furniture made from teak wood. You may start off with a simple teak garden bench and then add to your outdoor collection when both you and your budget are ready. But whatever you choose for your teak garden furniture it will be an investment that will last you a lifetime.

Lawn Tractor

Lawn Tractors = Small Tractors

If you need a tractor for different kinds of farmwork for less than 2 acres, then a farm tractor is the best choice for you. You can greatly reduce your manual labor, due to the many attachments that are available for lawn tractors. You will find that this can help you keep your garden in tip-top condition in much less time. In most cases, a lawn tractor up to a maximum of 7-10 HP will also have a ZTR (zero turning radius) feature to help you when working in a smaller field.

The Versatility of Lawn Tractors

Versatility is a major benefit of lawn tractors. Some of the jobs that can be completed by lawn tractors include hole digging, lawn rolling, tilling, mowing, and many other jobs. The power take off spindle makes these jobs easily possible. That is why lawn tractors are a gardener’s best friend.

Purchasing A Lawn Tractor

Choosing and purchasing a lawn tractor is much like buying an automobile. The optional accessories increase the prices of both a car and a lawn tractor. That is why you want to choose your lawn tractor and accessories wisely to ensure that you will use the ones that you are purchasing. You also want to ensure that you can try the lawn tractor in the showroom to ensure that you can attach and remove the accessories with very little effort. Test-drive the lawn tractor to make sure you can get in and out of it easily as well.

Price of Lawn Tractors

There is a large price range in lawn tractors. A smaller lawn tractor can start at $900 and go up to $6000. The Bolen 762F76 is a basic model and it is available for just under $900, while the John Deer Spin-Steer SST-16 is approximately $3300. A Poulan Pro PK1845H42ST is about $1400. These costs are for the tractor without any accessories. Accessories can make the cost greatly increase. A canopy starts at $110 and a collection bag for grass is around $300. A cart can run you anywhere from $110 to $220, depending upon the size. Now you see how the costs can quickly add up. If you are planning to use the lawn tractor for mowing 1/2 to 1 acre, then you may want to choose a stand behind lawnmower for around $350, instead of a lawn tractor.

Safely Using A Lawn Tractor

Lawn tractors are designed with a low center of gravity and that is why there is very little possibility of the lawn tractors tipping over. It is important to use the following safety precautions, regardless of the little possibility of them turning over.

Build A Liner Pond

The liner pond gurus such as the “Liner messiah” with his own magazine and catalog, recruits unsuspecting followers with a “Build a Liner Pond Day”, and shows how easy it is to get something for next to nothing. Here is what these liner pond guys do:

o Lay out the pond with a garden hose

o Remove the sod and dig the hole

o Drop in our guaranteed liner

o Fill with water

o Drop in our pump

o Run our pipe

o Throw a piece of our liner on the pile of discarded dirt

o Stick in our filter

o Cover pile of dirt with loose rock

o Turn on our pump

o Throw in your fish

o Collect your money and split.

Does this sound a bit harsh on the pond liner industry? Well, here is “the rest of the story. “I am going to add a few more items that the liner pond guys omitted:

o Ground squirrels

o Gophers

o Mice

o Rats

o Chipmunks

o Moose

o Sharp rocks

o Heavy rocks

o Falling rocks

o Sharp objects

o Tree roots

o Plant & weed roots

o Leaky drain seal

o Leaky skimmer seal

o Kids with sharp or pointed objects

Did the liner pond guy offer you a discount if any of the above occurred in your pond? Here is what you would have had to do if any of them happened in your newly-built liner pond (and I know the Liner Guy did not give you this list):

o Take out the fish

o Turn off the pump

o Take out the loose rock (hope you did not use too many)

o Pump out the pond

o Take out the pump

o Take out the liner

o Spread out the liner on the lawn

o Clean off the dirt and algae

o Inspect every square inch of the liner for holes.

(Sure, there are short cuts, but if you assume you have fixed the problem after patching a hole, put everything back and then discover there was more than one hole, you might be a tad irritated. Remember this rule of thumb: one pinhole and you can lose five gallons of water every 24 hours!)

o Patch the hole or holes

o Repeat the whole process over again, only in reverse.

Hey, sound familiar? It should, with the exception of laying out the garden hose and digging a hole, you have just built another water feature!

If it had been done the professional way to begin with, all this time to tear it apart and put it back together could have been used to design and build another permanent project with steel and concrete.

Front Yard Landscaping

When choosing and setting out plants in the front yard or any landscaping for that matter, you need to consider more than just how things will look. You should also consider other factors such as sun or shade, duration of sun or shade, soil type, purpose, the elements, and what specific plants will require or do in the future. There are also a few other considerations such as how close to plant to the home and its foundation.

When setting out plants in the front yard, place small shrubs and bushes 4 to 6 feet away from the home. If set closer than this, they could be deprived of sunlight or rain because of a wide overhang from the roof. They could also get fried from intense heat reflecting off of the wall. Placed away from the home in a wider staggered row rather than a narrow row, they also add a 3d effect to the landscape that makes the home seem more substantial.

Another consideration that most folks don’t think of is the long term effects of planting around the foundation of the home.

Keep in mind the space that plants and their roots will occupy at maturity. Roots are a powerful force that can find their way through rock. They also don’t seem to have much trouble with foundations.

Most plants, of course, require water. Watering, and especially flooding plants and beds around foundations creates a potential for a damaged foundation. This doesn’t always happen but it does happen. If you’re going to have plants close to the home, spot watering individual plants, a drip system, or even a low profile spray is safer than flooding the entire area.

Lime leach from concrete is a problem that I see quite often. It’s such a common problem because it takes a long time to show up. Over time, lime leaches out of the concrete into the soil causing the soil to become alkaline. If the ph of the soil gets too high, plants will start to look sick and yellow. Usually, keeping the beds tilled with a lot of organic matter will buffer and prevent this problem. Adding sulfur and organics to beds that are already affected will help turn the problem around.