Friday, 17 April 2015

Keep Garden Pests at Bay in a Healthy Way

Summer is a great time in your garden; growth accelerates as new leaves and shoots grow out and slowly make their way to flowering. At this time, remember that it’s best to water your garden in the morning so that the scorching sun doesn’t dry up your soil too much. A healthy looking plant in your garden can be highly infected and it takes a close view to see these pests. Mealybugs tend to hide inside new leaves and shoots and spread faster than lice in a playground. Of course, there is the common powdery mildew that contaminates your plants due to low ventilation and takes refuge under big leaves. Also, spider mites infect your plants visibly and suck the life out of it, as leaves turn yellow and your plants droops down in sorrow.

A common solution to these problems is pressure washing. We recommend the Black & Decker 100 Bar Pressure Washer on low pressure for this process. Tip your plant over, as you don’t want to wash away the soil, before pressure washing the leaves and shoots. Parasites like scale insects tend to cling on to your plant for dear life, and need to be scraped off with fingernails as you wash it off.

In some cases, pests tend to over populate on plants and if they are not spotted early enough can infect a plant completely. At this point, accompany daily pressure washing with neem oil or neem spraying to safely eradicate these pests. By using pressure washing and neem, you can refrain from using chemicals; as they not only smell like rotten eggs but are also poisonous to your plant, your pets and your family.

Here are some tips to keep your garden looking its best:

· Grind eggshells into a powder and sprinkle it over the soil, this gives your plant calcium and isn’t an eyesore like crushed eggshells.

· While cooking, save vegetable cooking water instead of throwing it and water your plants (only the soil) with this water. A great vegetable soup is a nutritious treat for your plants.

· Tea leaves are excellent for increasing the acidity of your soil. As this is beneficial to your plants, don’t always throw strained tea leaves, occasionally sprinkle some on the soil.

· Plants love company! So, go ahead, layer your plants in a couple of rows. Be careful not to overcrowd, poor ventilation attracts trouble.

· Spend time caring for your plants. Individually inspect them for pests and don’t be shy, they just might enjoy light petting.

Black & Decker knows best: 

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Thursday, 2 April 2015

Do It Yourself - The ideal Portable Summer Table

The summer breeze has been said to bring new friends; with that it brings more parties and trips to the beach. A portable table for these activities will always come in handy to keep food and drinks. This portable table can be rolled up into a nice bundle as you move from place to place. Go ahead and try this ten step method to build your own portable table.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Things you’ll need:

· one 48 x 7/8 (inches) wooden solid cylindrical rod

· three 2 x 1/4 x 8 (inches) hardwood planks

· one 1 x 1/4 x 8(inches) hardwood plank

· four 1/4-20 x 1(inches) Carriage bolts                                                                     
· four 1/4-20 threaded insert nuts

· 4 x 1(inches) nylon web belt

· ¼ (inches) staples

· a Black & Decker Circular Saw (CS1500 184mm)                                                                                                                          

Here’s what you need to do:
1. Commence by cutting the rod into four equal length pieces.

2. Cut the two inch hardwood planks into 24 inch pieces. You will require ten pieces. Trim the whole stack at once to make sure they are all of equal length. You'll need two 24 inch pieces of the one inch hardwood plank too.

3. Scrub the ends of the rods and the planks with sandpaper.

4. Cut two 24 inch pieces of nylon web belt and burn the ends. This will protect it from fraying.

5. Arrange the planks side by side and make sure they are evenly spaced.

6. Staple the belt to the planks; make sure the staples are shorter than the thickness of the wood and staple. Use a strong stapler gun. Use a hammer for assistance.

7. Install all the planks making sure to move your spacers and keep the web belting pulled tight.
8. Place the one inch planks across the table top and drill ¼ inch holes in the corners. These one inch planks serve as spreaders to keep the nylon web belting tight. Widen the holes in the tabletop to receive the square head of the carriage bolts. After this, install the spreaders.

9. Now, for the legs, Mark one end of each rod in the centre and drill a 5/16 inch hole one inch deep into the end.

10. Install threaded inserts in the rods.

Finally, throw it together, screw the legs onto the carriage bolts and flip it over. You can now paint it or customize it as you wish. Enjoy your new portable table!

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