Monday, November 18, 2019

Eagle Butte
Sunny
Sunny
54°F
 

Garden and Home Improvement Tips


Greetings to everyone. I hope all is well with you and thanks again for reading this week. I will cover several things this week, including winter prep and house plants

Salt and deicing alternatives

There is no 100% way to get away from salt use in the winter, but there are ways to use less of the chemicals found in traditional products. For example, a combination of salt and sugar beet juice is being used a deicer. The juice allows the salt to keep working below temps of -20. This alternative is being used, primarily in Canada, with great results. 

A solution you may try at home for your walks and drives is a mixture of pickle brine and water, at a 3:1 ratio, which would equate to one gallon of water to three gallons of brine. You can break this down to cups as well, with one cup water to three cups brine. Keep in mind to filter out any pieces of pickles with a cheesecloth. To apply your mix, you can use a one gallon multiple-use sprayer or a large spray bottle.

Window and windshield deicer 

To make this at home, you will need a spray bottle and a gallon jug. The formula is three cups white vinegar to one cup water. Mix enough for a couple batches in a gallon jug and use in a spray bottle.

House Plants: Here are three plants to consider for your home.

Snake plant: they have nothing to do with snakes but have beautiful green and yellow leaves. They can be kept small or let go to grow as big as 18 inches.

Gerber daisy: these plants will provide beautiful flowers in a variety of colors. They can grow to 24 inches tall and like-size in diameter.

Turf grass in long 6-inch deep pots: I know growing grass may sound odd, but turf grass is great for providing oxygen in the home, and is great at filtering odors. This is also something small children can grow. Like the grass outside, you must water it; however, you can maintenance with with scissors. In the spring, use small plugs to help fill in bare spots.

Spider plants are also great. They can grow big or stay small. Although their name can be deceiving, they do not house spiders – they get their name from their shape.

Did you know? In Canada and the U.K., hemp is being added to asphalt mixes. Since they began doing road surface testing with an asphalt mix including hemp fibers in 2004, the results have been good. There is less rutting and less cracking due to temperature extremes that the mixture can handle. The fibers have allowed for increased weight limits being the pavement is twice as strong as asphalt without hemp fibers. The hemp fibers have not replaced oil in the asphalt, but since the roads are lasting longer, this means over the years less oil is needed because they are replacing and repairing less often.