Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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Garden and Home Improvement tips

Hello everyone. I hope you are doing well after our first snow storm for fall/winter 2019. I hope the information I have been providing has been helpful for everyone. This week I will cover tips for indoor growing and will begin with suggestions for beginners. It may take a few tries to find out what will work best for you, your home, pets and young kids. Some of these plants can also be used as medicines, for food and other household uses. Here is a list of plants that are good choices if you are away from home a lot:

• Yucca: These are plants that grow wild here and different parts of the nation. There is a wide variety of plants that you can find for sale in your favorite garden section. These plants will need a large pot over 16 inches in diameter and 16 inches deep. They like full sun and can grow quite large, but their size can be controlled by their pot size.

• African violet: This is the world’s most popular indoor plant. It provides some small greenery as well as beautiful flowers, four times per year. They require a 12-inch pot when mature.

• Catnip: This is a great plant whether you have a cat or not. They are small and help give you some green indoors.

• Peppermint: A beautiful plant, this is a great choice because it can be picked for food and medicinal uses. It is also great for drying to use as a tea and in recipes.

• Aloe plant: This popular plant is an easy to grow because it requires low maintenance, and also has medicinal properties.

• Rubber Plant: Because the leaves can be poisonous to toddlers, it is recommended to only grow this plant around children who are old enough to understand its harmful properties. Rubber plants can grow very fast, up to two hundred feet tall in the wild; however, with pruning and an appropriate planting pot, you can control the size.

If you have a lot of experience with indoor plants, the best challenge for you may be to try growing one of the following plants:

• Japanese azalea: This plant can be trained to grow into various shapes. You will need a micro pruning kit and a string kit. These plants are pruned using Japanese pruning techniques that are thousands of years old. Depending on the desired shape and mud directions, cuts can be made to train the plant to grow a certain direction.

• Japanese red maple: These trees can be grown indoors and can be kept small or allowed to grow bigger, depending on your space. These plants will require a concrete pot.

Home improvement tips: Space Heaters 101

While I do not recommend space heaters as a primary heat source, in most situations if safety precautions are followed, then they should not be an issue.

Types of heaters:

• Electric convection: These heaters move air through air convection and do not use a fan. 

• Electric oil-filled radiator: These heaters heat oil within its body and spread heat through convection.

• Electric infrared: They provide warmth by sending heat waves into the air.

• Kerosene convection: These heaters, if used properly, do not leave a heavy odor. They heat by burning kerosene.

• Propane heaters: These types of heaters burn propane, which accounts for its heat source.

• Combination heaters: These types force heat into a room with a fan.

The general rule for space heaters is 10 watts of energy for every square foot of space. For example, a 1500 watt heater will heat 150 square feet.

For fuel heaters, you will look for how many BTUs it registers. A BTU is a measurement of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 pound. You can figure 20 BTU per square foot.

Fuel heaters need to be rated for indoor use. An indoor heater will have an oxygen sensor that will shut off the heater if the oxygen in the room is low. If you use fuel-type heater, it is vital to always have an operating carbon monoxide detector within the space it is heating.

Never attempt to alter a heater. Your heater has been safety tested and is sold to be the safest for your home. You may have to spend extra cash for a new heater, but that is cheaper than having to buy a new home if a fire is caused by an altered heater. It is also important to never connect a heater to an extension cord, which can cause overheating and increases the chance of a fire or a short-circuit.

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