Avoid Water Shortages with Xeriscaping
In many parts of the country, from California to Texas, green lawns are not indigenous to the region. Non-native landscaping contributes heavily to water shortages in many areas, causing watering restrictions.
How can homeowners help? By adopting a concept called Xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is simply creating a landscape that features native plants that don’t require extra water and are capable of withstanding native drought conditions.
While the look of a xeriscaped garden or yard of cacti and hardy shrubs is much different from the lush carpet of St. Augustine or Bermuda grass, you can easily create attractive landscaping that demands less water.
Simply pay attention to your yard’s shape, size, slope, sun, and shade. Choose grasses, plants and flowers that are “native” to your area and can grow on the typical regional annual rainfall without additional watering needed. Group plants and flowers with similar watering requirements in zones, so that any extra watering is more efficient.
Zoned areas may be broken up by walkways, berms (mounds), bits of turf, glass, walls, large boulders, river rocks and other stones. Add mulch to accent the plants and flowers, as well as to provide a healthy root environment, which also reduces the need for extra watering. In some cases, artificial turf may be an option where it can be effectively used in small areas to accent flowers and plants.
The total effect can be quite beautiful. You’ll use less water, lower your costs and maintenance, and your yard will attract fewer pests.
1. Spray Your Mower’s Blades to Keep Clippings From Sticking
If you have a lawn, mowing is one of those must-do drudgeries. Fortunately, cooking spray can make the chore problem-free. When applied to a mower’s undercarriage and blades, it can help prevent grass clippings from sticking.
Bonus tip: You can prevent ice from building up in your freezer with cooking spray. Just spray a thick layer over spots prone to icing, and let it sit for five minutes. Afterward, use a towel to wipe up the oil.
2. Grab a Makeup Sponge to Repair Drywall Holes
Typically mesh or paper tape is used to fill small holes in drywall. But a cosmetic sponge will get the job done, too. Just stuff it into the hole (you may need to cut it down to size) and spackle. You’ll find the entire tutorial here.
Bonus tip: A little baking soda added to a dollop of strong, fast-acting glue, such as Krazy Glue, will fix a small wall crack. When the mixture is dry, it forms a hard plastic that can easily be sanded down to a smooth surface.
3. Apply Nail Polish to Fill a Hole in Your Window
Found a tiny hole in your glass window? Repair it with clear nail polish. Apply a coat then wait for it dry. Repeat those steps until the layers of clear nail polish are flush with the glass surface.
Bonus tip: Clear nail polish can also fix torn window screens. You’ll need to apply multiple layers until you create a substantial barrier.
Whew. The holidays are done. The new year has rung in.
#1 Organize Your Seasonal Storage Space
So before simply stuffing your holiday things back in there somewhere, take inventory, then sort, filter, donate, trash, and re-home as many of your things as possible.
It’ll help keep you more organized all year long, and make it easier to find all your holiday stuff next year.
#2 Plan Summertime Projects Now (Especially if You Need a Pro)
Finalize plans for any landscaping, decks, patios, or other outdoor projects that need warm weather.
If you’re hiring a contractor or other professional, getting your bids and contracts in place now will save you from competing with the spring rush (wait too long, and you may not be able to book anyone!).
#3 Create a Schedule to Clean ALL Your Home’s Filters
It’s not just your HVAC. The filters in your fridge, your vacuum cleaner, your dryer, your air filter, and other household items need to be changed or cleaned at least once a year to be effective, usually more often — especially your dehumidifier. Yucky mold grows easily there.
Check manufacturer instructions for all the filters in your home, and create a master schedule, then add them to your calendar app to remind you.