Len and Leslie Marma's Blog
You don't have to live in a tropical climate to appreciate the design of a large front porch. In the Southern part of the United States, a wraparound front porch is a sign of prestige. Large front porches are also a mainstay of some Midwest, West and Northeastern houses. Couples met and dated right on the front porch generations ago.
Designing a beautiful front porch is easier than you may think
Families brought holiday gatherings onto the front porch too. Depending on where you grew up and your family traditions, you may take it as a given that all porches are designed with furniture that's nearly as stylish as furniture you find inside a house.
It's not necessary to have a big front porch to add more style to the very first room of your house. Great ways to add style to a porch, regardless of size includes:
- Layering wood porch floorboards with large rustic rugs. Opt for rugs that run the length of your porch, but, leave blank space on the sides of the rug, showcasing your wood floorboards. When it comes to the rugs, think oranges, reds and greens.
- Install a swing to the far right or left of your front porch. If you go with wood floorboards, consider installing a wood swing.
- Intersperse a porch sofa and two to three chairs with tall plants. You'll get more design with the plants if you put the plants in large, marble or ceramic vases that are etched with original designs.
- Go with a simple look by placing two rocking chairs and a small round coffee table on your porch. For added comfort, replace the coffee table with two wooden storage units. Use the units to store magazines and newspapers in and to serve as foot rests.
- Opt for front porch furniture that is padded. If the padding is covered in thick plastic, you can keep the furniture outdoors into the start of winter.
- Situate front porch furniture so that it invites robust conversations. In other words, place chairs around a table, so people face each other while they sit in the chairs.
- Screen in your front porch, keeping insects out. This makes it that much more inviting to sit on the porch during warm weather and at night.
- Compliment porch furniture colors with ceramic, wood and rustic artwork. Flowers are also fantastic at highlighting color.
- Even if you don't choose front porch furniture that's padded, you can give yourself and your guests comfort by placing decorative pillows on porch chairs.
To keep your front porch furniture looking new, store the furniture in the garage or basement during winter. Also, put the furniture away when it is especially stormy. This is a time when having plastic sofa and chair pads helps. Yet, even the pillows need to be protected and brought indoors during heavy snow, rain and ice seasons. Wiping porch furniture down a couple of times a year is another way to extend the life of front porch furniture.
For some people, caring for the lawn is a tedious, but necessary chore. For others, it’s a quiet way to enjoy the outdoors on the weekends.
Regardless of your feelings on lawn care, it’s important if you want your grass to look green throughout the warm months.
There’s a lot more to lawn care, however, than simply mowing and pulling weeds. In this article, we’re going to focus on one factor in particular: soil quality.
How can you ensure your grass remains well-fed and watered during those hot summer months? The answer is underground, in your yard’s topsoil.
Read on for tips on caring for your soil.
Salvaging your soil
Most people don’t have the time or money to remove their entire lawn and start from scratch with seeding or turf. So, how can you begin to help your soil now?
There are several ways to improve soil quality to encourage grass growth. Let’s start with the consistency.
Regardless of whether your soil is more sand, silt, or clay-based it can become compacted throughout the years. Compacted soil makes it difficult for roots to take hold and to reach vital nutrients.
Furthermore, when soil compacts it often builds a layer of debris on the top called thatch. A small amount of thatch isn’t a bad thing. It can help build your grass’s resiliency to impact, namely the feet of your pets or children when they’re playing in the yard. However, if you have too much thatch, it can create barriers to new growth.
There are two ways to manage thatch effectively: remove and prevention. To prevent the buildup of thatch, avoid mixing too much fertilizer and clippings into your lawn. While clippings and fertilizer are both useful ways to improve the quality of your soil and protect your grass, too much can be suffocating to the lawn.
Removing thatch is more difficult than prevention, but you can achieve it will a vertical mower, as well as by raking and collecting trimmings when necessary.
Why acidity matters
In the same way that we need proper nutrients to maintain or health, grass needs the right fertilizer and pH level to grow. Acidity levels range from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic (things like battery acid, lemon juice, and vinegar are all acidic), and 14 being the most alkaline (things like lye and ammonia).
A good pH for grass varies depending on the type of grass you have in your lawn, but a base level would be 6.5 or slightly acidic.
To test your soil pH, you can purchase a kit online or you can send a sample to a lab and they will report back to you. Once you know the pH of your soil, you can find the right type of fertilizer.
Choosing a fertilizer can seem difficult, but there are a few main things you’re looking for. Nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are the three main nutrients required by most plant life, and they are the top three ingredients in most fertilizer. There are, however several “micronutrients” that grasses need as well. These include copper, iron, boron, and zinc.
Follow the instructions on the formula you choose. Over-fertilizing your soil can cause harm. You might notice that the tips of the soil like “burnt” or that the blades turn yellowish. This is a good sign that you’re applying too much fertilizer.
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A garage door protects your vehicle from the elements of nature. It could keep your vehicle’s paint and body from getting dented during hard storms. If you have an attached garage, you could stay warm longer on cold days and nights, as you’d only have to walk a few feet from the comforts of your house to your vehicle.
To continue enjoying these benefits, you have to know what to look for in your garage door. You have to know how to spot issues like those highlighted below before they become too big for you to handle on your own.
Signs that your garage door needs some TLC
Binding – If your garage door is hard to open or close, you may have a binding problem. Other signs that the door is not binding properly include the door getting jammed, the door not fully closing or the door making loud noises when it is opened or closed. For example, your garage door might start to close then stop closing half an inch from the ground.
Cracks or holes in the garage door – Strong storms, rocks being thrown at your garage door or a vehicle, including a bicycle, ramming into your garage can create cracks and holes. You could have cracks or holes in the door if you see chipped paint or dents.
Uneven or imbalanced garage door – Your door should safely open and close with the automatic opener turned off. Test the door by turning the automatic opener off and raising and lowering the door. If the door raises but does not stay open, it could be off balance.
Pests – The main portion of your house isn’t the only place that pests enter and turn into a cozy dwelling. Pests could enter your house through your garage door. Check your door for nests and small openings.
Sensors – If garage door sensors are missing or become damaged, your automatic door opener may not work properly. This could cause the garage door to lower when someone presses the up lever, the very thing that could lead to a minor or major injury. If sensors are not functioning property or are missing,your garage door could also keep lowering after it has touched an object or the ground.
Dry rolls and tracks – When garage door rolls and tracks become dry,the door will not open and close efficiently. Signs that rolls and tracks are too dry include squeaking, squealing or clanging noises. Repairing this problem should be an easy fix. Simply lubricate the rolls and tracks.
Loose joiners – In addition to lubricating rolls and tracks, make sure that hinges are properly lubricated. Also, make sure that garage door bolts and screws are tight. Loose screws and bolts could cause the door to raise and lower slowly or off balance.
Generally, a few minutes a week is all it takes to check your garage door. More thorough inspections should be conducted annually. You can spot signs that there is a problem with your garage door quickly if you know what to look for. Keep your family safe by repairing the door or replacing parts as needed.