How to Choose a Composting Container

There are many sizes, shapes, and styles of composting bins to choose from. You can
make one yourself or opt for not using one at all and create a compost pile or heap.

A compost tumbler is a cylindrical shape much like a drum laid on its side. It can be
turned on a base that is supported on the flat ends. By turning the drum you are rotating
and aerating the materials at the same time. It is an easy and effective way to rotate your
compost.

A bio-orb container is shaped like a round ball and comes in various sizes. The benefits
of this type of container are the ease of getting it around (you can roll it over to your yard
waste and roll it back to its base), and the act of rolling it also aerates and rotates the
contents. There are many small round holes in the container to let air in too.

A wooden box with slats or a wooden framed box with mesh sides can be purchased or
easily made at home. If you can find four wooden pallets, you can nail them together to
create a compost bin very inexpensively or you can find a roll of wire mesh at your local
hardware store. Both of these options allow air to circulate as long as the contents are not
too compacted.

If you do not want to use a bin, start with a pile of glass clippings or leaves and start to
layer your food scraps on top. As time goes by and your pile continues to grow make
sure you rotate and stir it frequently. Be warned though, it is not as easy to turn a pile
that is not contained. They tend to grow in circumference over time as the pile spreads
out after rotating.

Building An Easy And Cost-effective Greenhouse On Your Back Yard

Thorough planning and preparation is essential before starting your greenhouse project. Putting up a greenhouse need not be time-consuming or expensive. Your greenhouse design will very much depend on your home’s home architecture, space and plants that you want to grow, cost and available location. Make sure that your greenhouse should provide the environment suitable for your chosen type of plants.

Location

Your greenhouse must be built in a site where it will get the full and concentrated sunlight.

Your best option is the southeast side of your house or shade of trees. All day sunlight is best, though also consider the morning sunlight coming from the east side because this is adequate for most plants, as it permits the course food production to start early so then progress is maximized.

The location on the east captures most of the November up to February sunshine.

Deciduous trees like oak and maple can shade the greenhouse effectively from the strong late afternoon sun during the summer but they must not shade or cover your greenhouse during the morning. These trees likewise permit maximum sun exposure during the winter due to the shedding of their foliage during fall.

Your greenhouse must not be located beside trees having leaves all year as it will block the winter sun. You must maximize greenhouse exposure to winter sun especially if your greenhouse will be used year-round.

Another necessity for the location of your greenhouse is good drainage. When needed, construct your greenhouse higher than the ground so as irrigation and rainwater will easily drain away.

Light that is required by certain types of plants that you will grow, water, electricity, heat and protection from strong wind are other factors that should also be considered.

Also, you need to set up a workplace and an area for storage of your supplies in your greenhouse.

Here is a simple and easy to construct greenhouse:

Materials:

5 pieces of 20 foot each of 5/8 inch rebar, cut into 1/3’s – 6 foot in length.

7 pieces of 20 foot schedule 40 PVC drilled with a hole size 3/16 to º inch dead center at 10 feet.

84 feet that is cut into 4 foot lengths of Ω schedule 40 PVC

80 pieces size 2X4 wood (treated).

4 pieces fence posts, 8 foot in length (treated).

Size 40X24 feet UV polyethylene, stabilized

60 pieces 2 Ω inches fence staples

1. Begin by extending a thin rope or string where the two long sides of your greenhouse should be. Then pound the 6 foot rebar in, each with a distance of 4 feet away from each other, in a straight line and allowing 48 inches to protrude from the soil or ground.

2. Nail the 2X6 runner on to the bare stakes. This will provide you with something so as to nail on the polyethylene later. You may use a ì60 2 Ω inch fence staples.

3. Slide in the PVC pieces (20 inch) over the rebar stakes, making certain that no sharp points are exposed, such as rebar, wire ends, rough pipes, etc.

4. Put the PVC pieces (20 foot) on the rebar stakes. You need to have somebody do one side as you also do the other side carefully and slightly at each time. Make sure that you drilled holes parallel to the ground.

5. Slide the wire all through the PVC holes and through the 8 PVC (4foot) pieces along the roof.

6. So as the ribs will not shift horizontally, you need to wire together the 4 foot PVC pipe lengths with either baling or copper wire. Make certain that the wire is wrapped so that the PVC pipe is forced inward.

7. Construct now the two end walls and the doors. Use vertical posts (4X4) 10 foot length and buried 3 or 4 feet for the doorway frame. Make certain that the end walls are not floppy and must stay vertically so that the PVC will not separate. Your door must be very tight so that the wind will not be able to inflate the greenhouse.

8. Drive some nails into the post’s base horizontally of the posts and submerge them to the ground.

9. With somebody’s help, and each person on each side holding the plastic, slide it over the rib cage and then attach the ends by wrapping the plastics end around lath pieces then nail the lath to the end walls and also along the foundation.

10. Be creative and add a few of your personal touches.

All done! Have fun in your greenhouse!

How To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades

Is your lawn mower tearing of the lawn grass blades instead of cutting it? Does your lawn look like it has been eaten by a goat, in spite of being cut by the lawn mower? Wait; do not pull your hair by the root. Help is at hand. We will teach you how to sharpen the lawn mower blades at minimum price and effort.

Your Manual Lawn Mower The Faithful Walk Behinds

Tools: The tools that your will require for doing this job are

– You and your time of about 2 hours or less

– A bastard file of about 12î long

– A small crow bar to prevent movement of rotor of lawn mower.

– A worktable will be useful for dong the job comfortably.

Procedure: You can use the following procedure as a general guide and make changes to it to suit you. Remember the procedure is not sacrosanct. The results are important, not the procedure.

1. If possible, remove the handle of lawn mower and place lawn mower on the table.

2. Secure it if possible in the clamps. If you do not have clamps, do not bother, secure it against any block, so that the movement away from you is restricted.

3. Fix the crowbar in the blades so that it will not rotate

4. With the help of the bastard file, file the edges of blades so that they look sharp. Work at an angle of 45 degrees

5. When one blade is sharpened, remove the crowbar and turn the rotor to work on another blade. Repeat the procedure until all blades are sharpened.

6. If you have a flexible shaft grinder in your DIY workshop, you will be able to complete the work within 5 to 10 minutes per blade. Make a template of blade profile before you start your work and compare frequently. This is necessary to ensure that you do not over cut at a place.

Safety Tip For You

While sharpening the blades ensure that the stroke is not too long otherwise, you may injure yourself.

Sharpening Blades Of Power Mower

Depending upon the lawn mower the procedure may vary. We have included general statements in this procedure; you would have to change the procedure slightly. Keep the maintenance manual of lawn mower handy if you have one.

Tools required.

– Siphon hose and clean container

– Heavy work gloves and goggles

– Double-cut (medium-rough) flat file

– Lumber scrap

– Socket wrench set

– Rubber mallet*

– Bench vise or C clamps

– Rotary blade sharpener accessory

– Electric drill*

– Screwdriver, or 1/4-in. rod or bolt*

– Blade balancer

– Replacement blade*

* Only if required

The list may look formidable, but tools are generally available with every DIY enthusiast.

Procedure:

The procedure is given for the simple single blade lawn mower, but the same will apply to all types of blades, whether single or double

– Wear hand gloves and clean the engine and the gasoline tank from outside

– Remove spark plug from the engine

– Remove all the fuel from the tank of the gasoline engine. Use the siphon hose so you do not spill gasoline on floor.

– Completely empty out the oil from gearbox if you have one

– Invert the engine and have access to the blade.

– Clamp the engine so it does not move and clean the blade area thoroughly

– With help of a box spanner, remove the nut holding the blade. Usually the nut will be unlocked in the reverse to direction of rotation of engine. You may engage the screwdriver in the cooling fan of engine to stop rotation of engine.

– If you find that you are using too much force to unlock the nut, put one or two drops of rust removing chemical, and try after 30 minutes

– After you remove the blade, clamp it in the bench vise and sharpen it with a file or a grinder. Sharpen only the outer 2 to 3 inches. The area to be sharpened will be known if you see the blade.

– Sharpen only to the required extent. Too much sharpening is not necessary. This is not the knife. It works at the speed of the engine

– After sharpening, check with your thumb. Be careful not to cut thumb. If you have done sharpening before, or seen some one doing it, you will know what we mean by this.

– Balance the blade with help of a small balancing tool on VEE blocks, or even on two foot rulers placed side by side

– Refit the blades, refill engine oil and gasoline and test the sharpness of blades on uncut portion of your lawn

Safety tips:

– Always use safety goggles and hand gloves when working with power tools.

– Be sure to remove the spark plug before starting. Serious accidents can happen if you do not do this.

WORX Introduces Its Most Fully-featured Trimmer Yet: The 20 Volt GT Revolution

worx_20v_gt_trimmer
worx_20v_gt_trimmer

The new WORX® 20V GT Revolution Trimmer/Edger/Mini-Mower is the most fully-featured string trimmer WORX has ever sold. When the first GT Trimmer came out 12 years ago, little did they know it would evolve into one of the most popular trimmers selling more than three million units.
“What separates the GT Trimmer from other trimmers in the marketplace is its combination of features, ergonomics, innovation and value,” said Brandon Martin, WORX Senior Product Manager. “Many of the GT Revolution’s features are a direct result of customer feedback.” 

Read more… →

Container Gardening Tips for Newbies

 

Container Gardening Tips for Newbies
Container Gardening Tips for Newbies

Container gardens can create a natural sanctuary in a busy city street, along rooftops or on balconies. You can easily accentuate the welcoming look of a deck or patio with colorful pots of annuals, or fill your window boxes with beautiful shrub roses or any number of small perennials. Whether you arrange your pots in a group for a massed effect or highlight a smaller space with a single specimen, you’ll be delighted with this simple way to create a garden.

Container gardening enables you to easily vary your color scheme, and as each plant finishes flowering, it can be replaced with another. Whether you choose to harmonize or contrast your colors, make sure there is variety in the height of each plant. Think also of the shape and texture of the leaves. Tall strap-like leaves will give a good vertical background to low-growing, wide-leaved plants. Choose plants with a long flowering season, or have others of a different type ready to replace them as they finish blooming.

Experiment with creative containers. You might have an old porcelain bowl or copper urn you can use, or perhaps you’d rather make something really modern with timber or tiles. If you decide to buy your containers ready-made, terracotta pots look wonderful, but tend to absorb water. You don’t want your plants to dry out, so paint the interior of these pots with a special sealer available from hardware stores.
Cheaper plastic pots can also be painted on the outside with water-based paints for good effect. When purchasing pots, don’t forget to buy matching saucers to catch the drips. This will save cement floors getting stained, or timber floors rotting.
Always use a good quality potting mix in your containers. This will ensure the best performance possible from your plants.

If you have steps leading up to your front door, an attractive pot plant on each one will delight your visitors. Indoors, pots of plants or flowers help to create a cosy and welcoming atmosphere.
Decide ahead of time where you want your pots to be positioned, then buy plants that suit the situation. There is no point buying sun lovers for a shady position, for they will not do well. Some plants also have really large roots, so they are best kept for the open garden.

If you have plenty of space at your front door, a group of potted plants off to one side will be more visually appealing than two similar plants placed each side. Unless they are spectacular, they will look rather boring.
Group the pots in odd numbers rather than even, and vary the height and type. To tie the group together, add large rocks that are similar in appearance and just slightly different in size. Three or five pots of the same type and color, but in different sizes also looks effective.

With a creative mind and some determination, you will soon have a container garden that will be the envy of friends and strangers alike.

Easy Does It With Robotic Lawn Mower

Everything is automated nowadays. Seems like every manufacturer’s aim in innovating a product is to make it all faster and simpler. Washing and cleaning has been automated since long ago. Now here comes robotic lawn mower. You thought that mowing the lawns was a breeze after those industrial machines came out right? Well, those became obsolete with the entry of these intelligent robotic lawn mowers.

Imagine mowing the lawn right there under the cool shade of your front porch. All you need is to push the button on the remote, look at the robotic lawn mower, and make sure it is right where the grass is thick.

The robotic lawn mower effectively mows lawn of regular size, within its average run time of 1.5 hours. But it depends on the power of the mower, of course. The bigger it is, the longer the run time it will have. It is equipped with a rechargeable battery to power up the blades. The downside though is that the battery needed recharging for 24 hours. Well, that’s an entire day. If your lawn were so big, like an acre big, you’d have to purchase an extra battery for you to be able to mow the entire area in a day.

For the robotic lawn mower to be within the area, you would have to setup a perimeter wire. It’s a special kind of wire that comes with the robot mower. Some wires can be planted underground. This sounds to be a taxing job, but you can do it in less than an hour if you have a relatively small yard. The wires be detected by the robotic lawn mower and then would turn the other way. You wouldn’t want it straying away towards your neighbor’s lawn, would you? With this perimeter fence, you can protect your flowerbeds and garden. Run the wire around it and the robotic lawn mower would leave it alone.

Slopes up to 20 degrees should be tolerable for the robotic lawn mower. Protruding tree roots should not be a problem either. With its robotic blades, the lawn mower would run around the perimeter wires first and proceed to the middle area, moving in a V pattern. This means that the robotic lawn mower might cover a certain area multiple times while missing a certain part several times over. Looking on the bright side, you’re not the one getting tired anyway.

The cost of the robotic lawn mower doesn’t seem to be an issue. It actually costs less than those heavy-duty regular lawn mowers. Given that, if and when you feel that your old trusty lawn mower needs back up or even a replacement, trying the robotic lawn mower might be a good idea.

Robotic lawn mowers sure catch attention. Well, you can always ask your neighbor or pay a kid to trim your lawn, but one way or another, you would have to do it yourself sometimes. And with the robotic lawn mower just waiting for orders at your backyard, lawn mowing would be almost effortless.