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Monthly Archives: November 2018

Pool Ready for Winter

Winter means cold temperatures and cold temperatures mean freezing water. If you have standing water in pipes or fixtures of a pool and it freezes it could damage the fixtures so it’s important that all pipes leading in and out of the pool are empty for winter. Even those pipes that are underground can freeze so you want to use a high powered air compressor or shop vac to chase that water away.

If your pool has tiles you need to make sure that the water level of the pool through the winter is lower than the tiles. Tiles can crack and break once water freezes and expands onto them and this means a big mess come summer. Lower the water in the pool to below the tile line. If you have a liner, you won’t need to lower the water too much as the more water left inside means the better the cover will protect the pool all winter. Too much dip in the cover means that water can collect and freeze on top of it and it may cause damage over time.

Of course, you can’t close a pool without using some mix of winterizing chemicals. Most experts say that a concentrated shock treatment with winter algaecide and stain treatment product will get the job done. You should also adjust the pH and the alkalinity in the remaining water. If you are using granular chemicals mix them up in a bucket before putting them in the pool so you don’t have issues with them staining the bottom of the pool.

It’s also a good idea to fully label totes or boxes where you will store skimmers and pipes for the pool through the winter, and to keep all little clips, stoppers and clamps together so you don’t go looking everywhere for them come summer. Keeping the pool things warm and dry through the winter will give them longer life and keep your pool running well.

Garden Gazebo

These days almost anyone can own a garden gazebo, and assemble a garden gazebo in the backyard, garden gazebo kits offer the beauty of a wooden gazebo, many gazebos are available in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from Victorian and Amish styles to small to party size in diameter. Garden owners can purchase a garden gazebo kit and build their own gazebo by themselves, the kits can range in price and in quality, but the concept of DIY and the average low price allows almost anyone to experiment and enjoy his own garden gazebo.

Garden gazebo kits differ not only in price but also in the material of which the garden gazebo is made of. These kits range in price depending on type of wood, which is generally either pine or one of a variety of types of cedar, and size. Each wood has its own benefits for your garden gazebo and once you have finished constructing the gazebo, you can choose to paint it, stain it or let it sit out and absorb the elements, allowing it to change to its naturally weathered color which is usually a light shade of grey. After you have decided on which wood to use for construction of your garden gazebo, you should figure what you need in terms of size.

Once you set your mind of actually getting a garden gazebo, you will need think about the material and the weather in your area, these will have a significant effect on your gazebo and what you can expect of it. Most garden gazebos are made of wood, pine or cedar or the most popular ones, but there are many different gazebo kits out there, and it is common to find metal gazebo kits made of vinyl or aluminum.

The huge advantage wood garden gazebos have is that they fit into a garden naturally, adding natural wooden quality that accents and compliments any garden. If you plan on purchasing a wooden garden gazebo, you will probably have to decide between pine or cedar wood. While pine is more affordable, cedar is less prone to rot.

Thanks to the modern design of gazebo kits, constructing your own fashionable backyard structure has never been easier. All you have to do is set out all of the parts the gazebo manufacturer sends to you and then assemble them according to the instructions. Once you have built each of the walls of your garden gazebo, you should bring over some friends to help you tilt up each wall and put on the roof. While it is not incredibly trying work, it will generally take a day or two to complete.

Saving Water for Landscaping

To water our landscaping, we use either some type of automated sprinkler system or a sprinkler that is dragged from spot to spot. Right from the big corporations right down to the homeowner with just a speck of a lawn, most people use or want to use some type of automated watering system. You have probably seen water from automated sprinkler systems running off the grass and running down the street. I don’t know about you, but here in the arid West, when I see this, it makes me quite angry. This even can be seen in droughts where a typical homeowner may have to water his plants with saved waste water from inside his home. This is not exactly an efficient use of water. All around the country there are problems with having clean water. It just doesn’t make sense to waste water.

Yet most landscaping owners use an inefficient and wasteful watering system. Here are a few tips to make watering your landscaping more efficient and less wasteful.

Watering systems for your landscaping vary. Find one that is most efficient for your needs. A good rule of thumb is that the larger the water drop delivered and the closer to the ground the better it is. Using a system that delivers a fine spray up into the air will lose much of the water to evaporation and to wind.

Surprisingly, hand held hose watering was found to be the most water-efficient way to provide moisture to your landscaping. It uses 33% less water than the average household uses to water their plants.

Studies found that of the automated watering systems, in ground sprinkler systems used 35% more and those with automatic timers use 47% more water than places that did not use such automated systems. These timesaving devices aren’t saving you money or water.

Adding rain sensors, or better yet, soil sensors to your automated watering system saves water. You don’t end up with the sprinkler system coming on in the middle of a rainstorm or right after one when the ground is already soaked.

Automated drip irrigation systems were found to be more efficient in the study using only 16% more than used by non-automated watering households. Add the above sensors and you will have an even better system.

Water Features

Fountains

Garden fountains are one of the easiest water features to add to your yard. Most home improvement stores and garden centers will carry do it yourself kits. Choose from a large variety including stand alone fountains and those that hang on your wall. All you have to do to install it is position the fountain, fill it with water and plug in the fountains pump. If you want to get creative, you could even make your own fountain out of new or old pots, a little bit of plastic tubing and a small water pump.

Ponds

Ponds involve a little more work but are still easy to do in the hands of a competent do it yourselfer. Once again, kits are readily available from your home improvement or garden center. To put in a pond you will have to first dig a hole in a suitable location. Ponds are normally only a few feet deep but it is still a lot of work to dig out all of that soil. Next you will either line the hole with a flexible pond liner or insert a formed hard plastic liner. Then add rocks and a pond filtration system. After treating the water, you can then add plant life and even fish if you so desire.

Waterfalls

If you want more than a basic pond, you could try installing a waterfall. This installation is a little more complicated and you might want to consult a professional landscaper. It does take some experience to plan out the flow of water on a waterfall.