gardening

Got a leaning plant? Try this fix

A friend recently mentioned to me one of her chili plants was falling over and I told her one of my favorite tips.

Small plants can get a little support with some chopsticks. Make sure to use something thick enough to tie it so as to not cut into the delicate plant. You can also use the bamboo skewers we all have around this time of year for doing kabobs on the grill, especially for taller plants. Happy gardening!

Chopstick as a plant stake

Chopstick as a plant stake

Categories: gardening, helpful tips, repurposing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick Tip for Friday: water-wise help for trees

Borrowing a post from another blog again for today’s Quick Tip for Friday

Be water-wise to help your trees survive the drought « Invest From the Ground Up.

 

 

Categories: gardening, helpful tips, Quick tip friday, Water saving advice | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Repairing a sprinkler line

Follow up to my last post where I very easily fixed a watering system problem, because sometimes a leak in a watering system is more complicated than a screw off sprinkler head.  For one thing, not all sprinkler heads attach that easily.  🙂

A break or hole in the line can be more challenging, to discover and to repair.

In this case there was damage caused to one of the pipes leading from one nozzle to the other. It was a pretty good-sized hole and a substantial leak. Luckily being  in between two small rose plants bordering the space between the lawn and sidewalk made it quickly noticed by the homeowner.

However, there was only a small area to work with without disturbing the plants, as the 2 roses were only a few feet apart and that was a bit challenging.

broken sprinkler line and not a lot of room to work

broken sprinkler line and not a lot of room to work

Typically this repair is done by cutting out the broken section and replacing it with a larger diameter piece, but it takes a little room to work so you can cut, then get a good seal and apply the glue without a bunch of dirt getting in the line. I was in the neighborhood of my favorite hardware store, Kurt True Value, so I dashed over there for supplies.

I saw this and decided it just might be the answer to the cramped condition I was working with and I was back out the door!

Fix kit I found at my favorite hardware store.

Fix kit I found at my favorite hardware store.

As you can see I didn’t even have to make the hole any larger to complete repair. I cleared as much dirt as possible from the line with my shop vac and snapped the repair coupling over the existing line. Per the instructions I also sealed the seams with PVC glue but I was impressed with the seal even without it.

worked great!

worked great!

I did repair months ago and it is still holding strong!

Categories: DIY tips, gardening, helpful tips, home maintenance, home repairs, Lawn care, Uncategorized, Water saving advice | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Quick Tip Friday- Water saving tip – Check your sprinklers

We are in a drought here in California. A phrase I have been hearing my entire life, but I still take it seriously and try not to be wasteful.

I will be posting water saving tips as often as I can through the spring and summer months.

My water saving advice today is related specifically to sprinklers or watering systems and it is very simple.

Watch when your sprinklers or watering systems run to check for needed repairs or adjustments.

A few years back a neighbor told me about a broken sprinkler she happened to see because our sprinklers ran the same time she left for work everyday. We never happened to see it. Since then I try to check things out twice a year and it paid off this year. We ran a check on the watering system in the backyard recently and discovered a leak that could have gone undetected for a very long time.

As you can see in the pictures there was no obvious problem besides the puddle. Timing and location might have kept us from noticing this puddle for quite some time.  There was a crack in a sprinkler head below the surface we w0uldn’t  know about until we watched our system running to check for possible adjustments in spray pattern or timing.

It was a easy fix to replace the sprinkler head (it just screws off/on) and no more water is being wasted watering our pavers instead of the grass.

sprinkler head sprinkler head2

Take a few minutes to check out your watering system regularly , it’s worth it!

 

 

Categories: gardening, helpful tips, home maintenance, home repairs, Lawn care, outdoors, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized, Water saving advice | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quick tip for Friday; buying plants

Here is some simple but effective advice to really help with success in your landscaping and gardening.
Pay attention to the location of the plants you want from the nursery or garden center and choose accordingly.

When the beautiful, vibrant blooms of a fuchsia start singing to you ‘Take me home’ make note that you (and the plant) are in a bright, but somewhat shaded location. While you may imagine how lovely those colors will look in the full, bright sun outside your kitchen window, you won’t have them for very long if you put it there. It won’t be happy, trust me, I have tried!

red and purple fuchsiapink fuchsia

When you are looking to add some plantings to a shady spot whether it is flowers, fruit or ground cover then make sure you don’t need SPF and sunglasses while picking out what to buy!

Beebutterfly on bougainvillea

Your first step to success can be that easy, choose from conditions similar to where you want it to thrive!

And here is a picture of a dragonfly just because I am so excited that I got this shot. 🙂

dragonfly

Happy planting!

Cass

Categories: gardening, helpful tips, outdoors, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Stepping up for summer fun

This was a personal project in my own backyard. With summer fast upon us and backyard activities soon to increase we could not go on ignoring this issue any longer.

This area of the lawn was distressed partly due to the extra traffic it gets on the path between the deck and the shed so we decided to put in steppers.

this needs some tlc

this needs some tlc

dreary little section of lawn

dreary little section of lawn

After taking measurements and discussing ideas we headed off to get some step stones.

Tip: Know your spacing and have a plan in mind but stay flexible. What we came home with was different in both size and shape than what we had envisioned and there is no doubt it was the right choice.

We laid the stones in the pattern we thought we wanted and gave ourselves some time to make sure it was how we felt they should be. I can’t speak strongly enough about doing this first, it made such a difference in the satisfaction of the end result. Initially we had planned to lay them in a straight, even line and tried the staggered pattern ‘just to see how it looked’. Now I can’t imagine why we ever thought the straight line was a good idea!

Lay out steppers first for spacing and patterns.

Lay out steppers first for spacing and patterns.

Look at layout from a few angles and take a few minutes to make sure you like it.

Look at layout from a few angles and take a few minutes to make sure you like it.

Once we had the pattern and spacing measured out the rest was pure sweat equity!

Nice clean cuts around the stones and using a shovel with a straight edge kept the job neat and tidy.

dig out carefully in full pieces, keeps ground level and grass can be re-used

dig out carefully in full pieces, keeps ground level and grass can be re-used

clean straight cuts will help make a good final look

clean straight cuts will help make a good final look

I came up with the idea of laying a rope in the hole after the first time we had to take a stone back out to level the dirt a bit more. When you remove or replace a stone by tipping it to one side it creates a divet in the ground beneath it. A rope or strap allows you to lift or lower the stone straight up and prevents divets from happening.

lay a rope or strap in the hole before putting in stone

lay a rope or strap in the hole before putting in stone

If you need to move stepper raise it with rope and pull straight out of hole

If you need to move stepper raise it with rope and pull straight out of hole

rope slides out easily once stepper is placed just right.

rope slides out easily once stepper is placed just right.

This project happened to be on existing lawn that needed to allow for natural imperfections in the slope of the ground so you don’t see me using levels in this case. I needed my stones to match the existing grass more than being accurately level so the lawnmower can easily pass over them.

moving right along

moving right along

We were able to take some of the more healthy portions we had removed and use them to patch in to some of the especially damaged spots. This made a big difference in a few weeks.

This was the worst patch of grass, something had to be done.

This was the worst patch of grass, something had to be done.

cut out the sad patch of grass

cut out the sad patch of grass

patched in grass in bad spot

patched in grass in bad spot

nothing left to do but water and wait

nothing left to do but water and wait

Not bad for a day’s work. Now to nurse the patchy spots back to health.

A few weeks later and the difference is amazing! Grass grew in nicely and the stones look great!

2 1/2 weeks later

2 1/2 weeks later

patch spot looks good

patch spot looks good

One Saturday of work that will pay off for years to come.

Hope you are all enjoying your backyards as much as I get to enjoy mine!!

Happy summer fun! Time to schedule some BBQ activities!

Cass

Categories: DIY tips, gardening, helpful tips, Home Improvement, home maintenance, home repairs, Lawn care, outdoors, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

April is National Garden Month!

We all know that Earth Day is in April but did you know the entire Month is dedicated to our lovely gardens?

Celebrate National Garden Month with some of these great ideas from the National Gardening Association!

 

http://www.nationalgardenmonth.org/index.php?page=101ways

IMG_00000098

 

Categories: gardening, helpful tips, Lawn care, nature, outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick Reminder-Time change is almost here again!

Spring is on it's way!

Spring is on it’s way!

Is it just me or has the past year flown by? It is time once again for the ‘spring forward’ time change this weekend. Sunday March 10 we put the clocks ahead an hour again.
Check the batteries in your smoke detectors and get ready for spring cleaning! Spring is on it’s way!

Categories: gardening, nature, smoke alarm, smoke detector, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Local shopping at the Downtown Torrance Market Place

Last Thursday I participated in the weekly Downtown Torrance Market Place and had a great time! There were great booths with handcrafted items like soap and sachets, a reiki practitioner, antiques, collectibles even a booth full of tupperware items. We had a great time dancing to the local DJ to keep from getting chilly and meeting lots people in the neighborhood!
Come on down this Thursday and say hello! There is a Raffle every hour too!
Anyone who knows me, knows how passionately I believe in shopping small whenever possible and supporting local businesses so it really meant a lot to me to be invited to join this event. I won’t be able to attend every week, but I hope go as often as possible and continue making new friends.

https://www.facebook.com/downtowntorrancemarketplace?fref=ts

Here are some of the regular vendors you will find on Thursday nights:
http://www.ourseedsofinspiration.com/
https://www.facebook.com/soapfarmsoap
https://sites.google.com/site/davetheappraiser/home

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Categories: decorating, DIY tips, furniture refinishing, gardening, helpful tips, home maintenance, home repairs, marketing, repurposing, work I do | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

other times….

I get to build a beautiful fence and gate!
Better quality pictures that also show before and after will be posted soon. Right now I’m still busy building this on the other side of this house.
This horizontal design chosen by the homeowner is just gorgeous and was fun to build.

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Categories: custom work, DIY tips, gardening, home maintenance, home repairs, outdoors, work I do | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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