Home Articles – Page 3

How to Keep Your Cut Flowers Fresh

Cut flowers never seem to last long, but here are a few tips to help maximize their lifespan.

Who doesn’t love cut flowers? They’re the ideal offset to the sterility of most indoor environments, offering earthy organic reminders of the wider world with their jewel-like beauty, and scenting the air with their natural perfumes. It’s the rare heart that’s not gladdened by the sight and scent of fresh flowers.

The problem is that they’re so temporary, rarely lasting longer than a few days before their petals droop and they start to die. Given their short lifespans — and how much they tend to cost, frankly — it makes sense to find ways to extend the length of time your flowers can stay bright and perky.

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How to Make Your Own Homemade Fly Trap

Ever heard the old saying about flies and vinegar? Well, the old saying is wrong, as this homemade fly trap proves.

As with so many things, why pay for a commercial fly trap (or worse, some nasty poisonous spray) when you can easily make a homemade fly trap from household materials?

Sorry, a Venus flytrap isn’t really a viable option here. While very cool, they’re really hard to find and don’t eat nearly as many flies as you’d think. And they’re so tiny! We’ve been misled by The Little Shop of Horrors and all those other schlocky sci-fi movies featuring man-eating giant plants, see.

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The Many Household Uses of Olive Oil

Olive oil (even the non-virgin kind) is absurdly handy all around the house. Here are a few uses you may not have thought of.

Ever thought much about olive oil? Probably not, except as an adjunct to cooking. And it’s darn good for that; but as with so many other things, it’s good for much more, too. In this article, we thought we’d show you a few more uses for this most princely of vegetable oils.

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Cheap, Organic Roach Repellents

If you’d prefer not to douse your home in chemicals, there are organic roach repellents that will keep the bugs away just fine

While we hesitate to offer up these organic roach repellents, since no one wants to admit they might have a bug problem, we’ve gotta be realistic here. Roaches are a fact of life in many parts of the country, and no matter how vigilant you are, they can still invade. You’ve got to be ready to repel the boarders as necessary.

That said, why not just use a can of bug spray from the store? You can buy the stuff fairly cheaply when you have to… assuming you buy Brand X. But false economy aside, remember this: a savvy consumer’s not just frugal, they avoid things that can come back to haunt them in expensive ways. Like poisons.

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How To Get Rid of Dandelions Organically

Dandelions have to be one of the most ubiquitous weeds in America, so you’ve probably got ’em. Here’s how to get rid of dandelions safely.

Unless you’re liberal as I am in your definition of flowers, you’ll probably want to get rid of dandelions when they appear in your yard. Well, you can always hire an expensive lawn care service to take care of that for you, or dowse them with pricy chemicals yourself.

But most savvy consumers aren’t willing to do that, especially those of us who care about adding toxins to the environment. So here are a few ways of killing dandelions that are a lot cheaper and safer for you and the world.

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How to Clean Rain Gutters Safely

Part of being a savvy consumer is knowing when discretion is the better part of valor. Arranging to clean your rain gutters safely is one example

Most people don’t think it’s worth the effort to take the time to clean rain gutters safely, since it’s a fairly straightforward process and you don’t have to do it all that often. But here’s the thing: all it takes is one ladder wobble or patch of mud to cause a fall that costs you a lot more than being careful.

That being the case, we’d like to offer a few suggestions on tools that you can use to make cleaning your gutters safer. Yes, you’ll have an initial cash outlay; however, these tools are cheaper than even a few hours at the hospital, and less expensive over the long term than hiring someone to do it.

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The Advantages of Planting a Windbreak, Part II

Planting a windbreak may seem like an old fashioned idea, but it’s not all that hard — and it can save you a lot of money in the long run

As we outlined in Part I of this article on the advantages of planting a windbreak, an old-fashioned windbreak has all kinds of money-saving benefits. Of course, by now you may be thinking, “Well, sure, a windbreak is a good idea. But it takes hours of backbreaking labor, and it’s hideously expensive.”

Admittedly, planting a big, long row of trees may in fact be hard work, and it’ll take some time. But that’s what teenagers are for. And it’s not all that expensive if you buy the saplings in bulk.

Intrigued? Read on.

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The Advantages of Planting a Windbreak, Part I

Even if you don’t live on a farm (but especially if you do), planting a windbreak can save you a lot of money… if you’re patient

If you’ve ever visited the country, then you’ve seen windbreaks. That’s what those closely-spaced rows of trees along fence rows are. The trees didn’t just happen to grow there: they were deliberately planted as a protective measure, to help tame the wind and, in some regions, to block the drift of winter snow.

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Low Energy LED Lights Really Do Save You Money

Low energy LED lights are expensive, but the price is coming down rapidly — and they use a pittance of electricity

Low energy LED lights are all the rage right now, but you can’t avoid the fact that they’re hideously expensive. Even the smallest LED bulb of a decent wattage (a minimum of 10-12, which is about the equivalent of a 60-75 watt incandescent) costs tens of dollars. That’s significantly more than even one of those CFL bulbs.

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How to Read a Fertilizer Bag Label

10-2-5? 10-20-10? What do all the number on a fertilizer bag label mean?

For years, when Your Humble Writer saw those odd strings of numbers on a fertilizer bag label, she couldn’t help but wonder what they meant. Now, after years of working the stuff into her garden soil, she understands and approves. Here’s what you need to know about those numbers.

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