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Airforce Heating and Cooling Named Best HVAC Company in Norfolk VA

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems are very good to have in your home, but purchasing the right products is even better. What features should you look out for when making a purchase? What are the aspects you should keep in mind when shopping? This article will give you enough details for a non-regrettable buy.

A complete HVAC system is engineered in such a way that the quality of indoor air in your home will be made as pure as possible. The humidity/temperature levels can also be regulated as you desire. If you need a system that will be suitable for your home, you should consider services like HVAC Norfolk VA to be on the safe side. There are so many factors to consider in the process of installation that should not be taken for granted.

Apart from private homes, other property types that would require HVAC systems include commercial/industrial buildings, skyscrapers, and several others. You should understand the differences in air conditioning, cooling, and heating systems. They are provided as separate systems/units in the market. When installing the system in your home, think of how each unit will fit in an aesthetic sense.

 

The Separate HVAC Units/Systems

In a complete HVAC system, the air conditioning unit regulates the temperature and humidity levels. Your windows and doors will have to be closed securely for this to be effective. The system will feature vents that will enable the passage of air in and out of the building. You will not have to worry about how much fresh air you are getting unless the system’s internal air filter is faulty.

Some AC systems can work automatically, where the desired temperature/humidity level you set will be maintained without having to regulate it manually. If the system features an evaporator and dehumidifier, the humidity levels will be regulated better.

Heating systems are important for keeping you and loved ones warm during cold weather. Some sophisticated types can provide hot water, but they are more expensive. Ensure that you hire trusted HVAC experts for the installation of the system. They should be able to check for issues like gas emissions that can be harmful to human and animal health (pets).

To ensure that the quality of indoor air in your home is healthy, the type of ventilation system that will be installed should not be taken for granted. Apart from gas emissions, there are other pollutants like particles, odors, radioactive gas, dust, and so on which can only be expelled by an efficient ventilation system. Try mechanical ventilation for a change, if you feel that the natural method is not working as desired. Read more about that here.

 

Hiring HVAC Experts in Norfolk VA

Better HVAC technology is still being developed for greater performance and suitability in the homes of consumers, no matter the structure of the property. The innovative ideas are targeted at improving features such as functionality, compatibility, design, and other aspects. 

If you are a resident in Norfolk VA, ensure that your chosen experts have the necessary certification and other professional requirements. Certified. They must have the necessary experience to handle new tech in case your budget can handle the expenses. The firm’s reputation as regards the rate of customer satisfaction should also be considered.

It is advisable to be in contact with experts who can attend to issues with your HVAC units/system at any time of the day (24/7). This is good in case of an emergency. You do not want to be freezing during the winter or nearing suffocation in your home at any point in time.

Homeowners should exercise some level of patience in deciding which company to hire for the installation/repair of their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units/system. They should learn as much as you can about the products available in the market before placing your order.

 

Read more about that here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heating,_ventilation,_and_air_conditioning

For property owners, the health of the tenants needs to be considered. That fact that you are not an occupant of the building should not mean you should install heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems that are below par.

With the information contained in this article, regrets can be avoided. The systems can cost a lot to acquire so you must make that non-regrettable buy. High quality products should be targeted regardless of whether it is an old or new property.

 

 

 

Virginia HVAC and Plumbing Companies for Hire Explain Systems Functions

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

 

A HVAC unit is an essential device for your home because it heats and cools your home. When you install a first-rate HVAC unit, you can say goodbye to extreme summer and winter temperatures. 

Have you have ever wondered how the HVAC in your home works? Well, let the professionals at  https://www.dmselectservices.com/fairfax-station-va-hvac-repair explain. 

 

Types of Heating and Cooling Distribution Structures

Knowing how each type of distribution structure works, will give you a clearer understanding of how the one in your home works.

Forced Air – This mechanism uses a blower to push cold and hot air through metal ducts. The hot and cold breeze are pushed through different ducts but that is dependent on whether you’re using the air conditioner or furnace. 

These systems are prone to blowouts and as they malfunction or stop working as they get closer to their lifespan. There are volume issues with the cheaper ones. 

Gravity Systems – These function along with the “hot air rises and cold air sinks” theory. Therefore, gravity and air conditioning mechanisms cannot be used jointly. Gravity mechanisms are installed in basements. When turned on, the hot wind goes the ceiling, heats your home then falls when it cools. The cycle continues. 

Radiant Systems – These are similar to gravity systems in that you can’t use them along with air conditioning ones. Radiant heating heat rooms via heat devices such as radiators, which circulate heat throughout a room. The main disadvantage of using these is that the pipes used to carry hot water tend to breakdown because they deteriorate or there’s a buildup of mineral residues.  

HVAC System Parts and their function

Understanding how the different parts of your HVAC unit works is important. Although there are several models with special features, there are few differences between them. Each unit has four major parts.

  1. Furnace: The furnace contains a heat exchanger that burns oil or natural gas that heats the air to the correct temperature. The furnace is usually placed inside in the basement, attic or a closet space designed solely for it.  
  2. Air conditioner: This device is placed outside. Electricity and coolant liquid in the air conditioner lower the temperature
  3. Ductwork: This is the transport mechanism whereby both hot and cold air are carried to every section of your home.
  4. Thermostat: This is the core of the HVAC unit. It works like a switch to turn the unit on and turn it off. It also regulates the temperature and controls other special features you might have installed with your HVAC.   

The core of the HVAC System

The thermostat is the heart of your heating system. It is heat-sensitive. It controls the temperature in your home and responds automatically to the present temperature.

When you establish the set point, the temperature is set manually and the thermostat will respond by turning off the furnace if the temperature does not correspond with the set point. The bimetallic element is the key component that either contracts or expands when there is a change in the temperature inside your home.

Older thermostats models have two visible contacts. The bimetallic element bends as the room cools and contact electronically before the second contact is made. The second contact results in activating the system, and this starts the heating mechanism.  For more info check this URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heating,_ventilation,_and_air_conditioning

Modern thermostats

Modern thermostats don’t function like the older ones since the contacts are closed to the elements. They are protected behind glass.  As the temperature falls, the contacts straighten. A steel bar and a set of magnets close the contacts to complete the electrical circuit whenever the temperature gets too low.

It works directly in the opposite way when you have to turn off the furnace.

Modern thermostats are more accurate than the older models. They also last longer because the electrical contacts are protected behind glass.

Conclusion

A HVAC system is not a complicated device. Basically, it is a furnace and an air conditioning system. The thermostat controls the way your unit works.

If you are planning to install a new HVAC unit in your home, you need to do a thorough research. Select several companies and ask for quotes and get a professional to come and do an inspection of your home. The costs will be dependent on the type of house you have and its layout.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hidden value of trees

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

There was a time, not so long ago, when large trees in the garden were seen as a problem. Now that way of thinking is rapidly becoming outdated. The need to take urgent action on climate change is making people more aware of the value of trees and plants as a means of taking carbon out of the atmosphere, and how that’s just as relevant in an English garden as it is in the rainforests of the Amazon. This, in turn, is acting as a reminder of all the other amazing things that trees can do for us and how much pleasure they can bring.

How it works

Just how do plants store carbon? It’s part of the process of photosynthesis, whereby they use the energy from sunlight to power a chemical reaction between water and carbon in the atmosphere in order to produce food. This, in turn, enables them to repair damage and grow. Waste carbon is secreted into the soil while other carbon remains bound up in plant tissue. If wood is used to make furniture, building materials and so forth instead of being burned or allowed to rot, the carbon remains stored safely within it.

 

Chestnut Tree

Unfortunately, when large areas of forest are destroyed or when long-frozen peat bogs thaw out, releasing carbon stored thousands of years ago, the carbon they contain goes back into the atmosphere. We can all work to counter this by planting as many trees as we can – either indirectly, through actions as simple as using the search engine Ecosia, to directly, in our own gardens.

Different types of trees

When it comes to storing carbon, not all trees are created equal. Fast growing trees like sycamore and chestnut, which have traditionally been seen as weeds, are starting to be valued more because of the speed with which they can do it. Other trees, however, offer their own environmental benefits. Flowering trees like cherry, apple and acacia help to support bees, which is particularly important at a time when bee populations are in decline. Hawthorn, birch and oak provide multiple sources of nutrition for wild animals and birds, supporting the wider ecosystem. Studies suggest that most trees do best when in the company of different species rather than more of their own kind, probably because they’re not competing for the same balance of nutrients in the soil.

Caring for your trees

If you want your trees to prosper, you can help by ensuring that they’re well supplied with nutrients – especially when they’re young saplings – and that they’re protected from injury and disease. The best tree surgeons in West London can offer experts skilled in this sort of work – despite what some people think, they’re not just there to chop trees down but offer a wide range of other services. If you have a problem with trees blocking the flow of light into your home, pruning them or training them so that they grow in a different direction is a much better option than simply removing them. You can also shape them deliberately to form attractive features like bowers or to provide shade for key areas like your driveway. On hot summer days when you want to be outside but not get too much direct sun exposure, having a tree-shaded spot in the garden is ideal.

 

Oak Tree

Green cities

Increasingly, city planners around the world are looking for ways to introduce more trees to the urban environment. As well as helping to tackle larger scale problems like climate change, trees help to purify the air locally, reducing the effects of pollution, as well as releasing oxygen and soaking up excess heat. They muffle the sound of traffic and there’s increasing evidence that just seeing them has a positive effect on mental health, just one more reason to look after our trees. In Japan, ‘forest bathing’ (shinrin yoku) has been practised for centuries as a means of reducing stress and promoting emotional wellbeing.

It’s probable that the cities of the future will be much greener places and that we’ll all be better off as a result. While councils always take their time turning ideas into plans and plans into action, however, homeowners can get on with planting and caring for trees right away. Even renters have the option of keeping smaller trees in pots and planters as long as they have a bit of outdoor space. These trees have immediate benefits for all of us and by soaking up carbon they also help to keep the Earth healthy for future generations.

 

Make The Process Of Moving A Lot Easier By Hiring Moving Services

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

 

It can be extremely annoying to have to pack everything up and organize it neatly. If you’re not the type of person that enjoys doing this, then there are always other decisions you can make. Like, for example, hiring the services of a licensed moving company. Relocating from one place to another takes time, and it can be incredibly dull. But, this is just something you have to do because life’s about making difficult decisions as well. The good thing about it is that you don’t have to do this all on your own.  

Furthermore, packing the entire house yourself can take days. The process will be done much quicker if you have a team of experts doing everything they can to speed up transportation. Before you go ahead and start packing the interior, make sure to think about the risks that can happen. For example, you can destroy some of your furniture or break your favorite vase. You can be as careful as you want, but amateur packers like yourself will be bound to make a few mistakes down the road. Where does that leave you? Angry, and with more frustration to deal with. 

Therefore don’t waste time trying to do all of the work alone and hire a reliable business with excellent movers to help you out. Here are some of the things that every licensed moving company has: 

 

Professionals 

There’s a huge difference between you and people who have been relocating other people’s homes for years. This is what makes them experts in the field ready to conquer any issues that may arise. They know precisely how to handle the heavy stuff and lifting as well as sort all of your things in boxes. You won’t have to lift a finger. But if you want to be of some help and just stand idly by, then you can take care of the smaller items by wrapping them and placing them in boxes as well. Check out the link for more https://businesspartnermagazine.com/7-benefits-hiring-moving-company-business-move/.

Moreover, movers are people that will put your needs first. Once you hire a team, it becomes their responsibility to listen and do everything you require of them. They will consult you in any important decision and offer advice on every change that happens in the process. Not to mention that they will be done with the packing a lot faster than an amateur person like yourself. Just make sure to do the right thing and hire them as soon as possible. 

 

Right tools and equipment 

 

The first thing when it comes to moving is having the necessary equipment to start the procedure. But you probably don’t have any of that. This means that you have to go from store to store and buy all the essential things when it comes to wrapping and packing. This way, you will lose a lot of time and start getting anxious throughout the process. Experts like movers will show up prepared and well-equipped to handle the bigger pieces like furniture and even the smaller ones. They will load them in the trucks and transport them to the new location.

You see, when you hire professional movers, you get the whole package. Muscle, intellect, experience, and equipment. Besides, then will handle your things much more carefully, and without any significant damage along the way. Your stuff will be relocated as safely as possible. This also works if you plan on moving outside of your state. Whatever task you want to be done from them, they will do it because you’re the customer. They aim to please your needs and make you as comfortable as they can. Click here.

 

Efficiency 

Doing all the packing yourself will take a lot of time. Besides, how would you be able to carry all that heavy furniture out of the door? Sure you can invite a few friends to help you, but there’s still a risk that something will go wrong. That’s why you should let the professionals handle all those things. They will efficiently pack even the smallest item and wrap it carefully so that it doesn’t break along the way. The movers work in teams so that the more massive pieces can be transported much easier. You don’t have to bother inviting friends over to help you out after all.  

Moreover, their experience is what matters the most. They know how frustrating the entire relocating process can get, that’s why they want to relieve you from the stress and anxiety. You’d be able to properly say goodbye to the entire neighborhood while they do all the working. They will also make sure that your belongings won’t get lost along the way. It’s hard to pay attention to all the things inside your home because they are plenty. But, the movers won’t make that mistake. 

 

License and insurance

Working with a licensed business has its benefits. The movers will try their best not to damage your things, but if something like that happens, then you will get insurance for them. We are all human, and mistakes happen more often than not. Accidental damages occur all the time as well. It’s a good thing to know that you will have insurance to cover the cost so you can replace any item that is damaged. This is only fair since you are the money that is paying the moving company in the first place. Make sure to find the best out of state movers if you’re ever relocating out of state. 

 

Cost-efficient

One of the best things that you can gain from hiring a moving company is the reducing of costs. A lot of people think that their service is expensive, but this is where they’re wrong. Sure, you have to spend some cash on them, but nothing compares to the labor that you have to put yourself through trying to pack the entire house. Not to mention that you’ll have to buy all the necessary tools to do that in the first place. This way, everything should be able to run smoothly and without problems.

Want to be amazing at growing avocados? Here’s how to do it!

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Many of us dream of a lovely, well-maintained garden. With the help of some of the best Edinburgh gardeners and landscapers, you’ve got the shape and layout of your garden ready. But what really makes the garden is the plants that you grow there. While decorative plants, including flowers and shrubs, will be enough in most cases, you might be interested in going the extra mile and plant something you can eat.

Avocados are some of the most popular choices for planting, simply due to the fact that they’re so easy to grow. You can enrich your garden with cute little avocado trees that will not only make your garden look much more enticing, but also provide you with fresh avocados for whenever you need them. Here are some tips on how to be a pro at growing your avocados!

 

Prepare a clean pit

Before you even begin planting your avocado, you need to have something to plant. For this, you need to remove the pit from another avocado. Be careful while you do this, as you can easily damage the pit with a knife, which would prevent it from growing out. Wash it clean, leave it in the water for a few minutes if you must, and it’s ready. Whatever you do, do not remove the brown skin!

 

Make sure you plant it right-side up!

The avocado pit actually has an upper and bottom side. It may appear spherical, but it is actually oblong, and recognizing which side is where is crucial. The bottom is where the roots will grow out of and is a little bit flatter, while the pointier top is the part that will sprout and unlike the bottom, it needs to be kept dry.

 

Push some toothpicks in and put it in water

Once you’ve determined which side goes up and which goes down, it’s time to put some toothpicks inside. These are there to help you keep the avocado submerged in water while still ensuring that the tip is dry. In order to make sure this works well, make sure you pierce the seed at a downward angle.

 

 

Wait for it to sprout, then it’s time to move it to a pot

Now, you don’t submerge the avocado in water forever. It’s only going to stay there for as long as it needs to, and that’s until it starts sprouting. A good sign that your avocado is just about done with this stage is the top cracking, with the crack stretching all the way to the bottom, with roots emerging from it. Once your sprout starts growing out high and reachest about 6’’ in height, the time has come.

 

Make sure its needs are met and once it grows large enough – move it to your garden

What happens now is that you need to make sure that your avocado only keeps on growing. Water your avocado tree regularly, making sure to deep-soak it once in a while, but be careful that you don’t over-water it. make sure bugs don’t give your plant a hard time, and for extra toughness, you can pinch out the top leaves once the stem is 12 inches tall.

 

If you want your tree to grow fruit, watch out – this is important!

It might take several years for your avocados to actually grow fruit, from as little as 3 years to as long as 15. But even after the time passes, you might still see no fruit. That’s because avocados greatly rely on cross-pollination for reproduction, so in order to make sure your tree has fruit, you should actually have at least two of them, and the more you have, the better your chances.

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying Artificial Grass

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Artificial grass is a perfect way of enjoying nature when you are too occupied with other things throughout your day. As you don’t need to maintain it like watering or spraying pesticides regularly while you can relax on your couch whenever you want. You can feel this comfort especially in summers when noon time makes the grass extremely hotter that even gardeners avoid being in the garden for any kind of work. All such things make the artificial grass a blessing but there are some common mistakes that people make while buying one for their backyard. Let’s have a look at a few of them below.

 

  1. Not Doing Enough Research Beforehand

If you are a first timer, then no research beforehand is a big mistake you are going to regret later for sure. It is important to understand the installation process and dynamics of artificial grass like its types, pile thickness and different densities as it is not a piece of cake when you need good quality and durability. All such factors require deep research before finalizing any for your beautiful backyard.

 

  1. Considering It Completely Weed Free

It is only like making a fool out of yourself if you think that artificial grass will be completely weed free. No, it is not like that and it does require maintenance as well but not as strictly as it is required with natural grass. However, the wind in your surroundings along with some birds and insects are very likely to attack your grass so you just need thorough cleaning with a brush every alternate day or maybe twice a week.

 

  1. Relying on Samples Shown

Samples are always samples and bulk is always slightly different than samples which is a universal fact. So relying on samples and considering it as final outcome in your backyard will bring you a good disappointment. Also, you may select one based on soft hand feel but it might not have the longer durability or maybe the lush green color fades sooner after installation. So, it is always recommended to check the installed gardens rather than just relying on samples. And must check other features as well along with the looks and hand feel.

 

  1. DIY Installation

No doubt you can have a number of videos and tutorials available online on DIY installations but it is not that easy as it looks like. It is because it is not your normal carpet for room and you will be needing different tools for fixing it in the perfect shape. Also, different corners or places might require different treatment depending on the temperature and climatic conditions. 

 

  1. Ignoring Drainage

Well this is something which makes you end up with the pools of water in your garden every time it rains. It is a very important which is often neglected by people which then complains about the water pools in the end. So make sure the installation process has well considered the drainage part to keep the desired height of clay under grass and different important factors to have good results and durability.

 

How to care for artificial grass

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

If you’re the type of owner who’s tired of having to fertilize, mow, or aerate the grass, you’re in luck. You can keep your lawn picture-perfect without ever touching a lawn mower. All you need are some reminders and a bit of water.

Of course, we’re talking about artificial grass.

 

Why artificial grass?

Opting for the artificial grass on your yard instead of a living one comes with lots of benefits. The most important benefit is that they don’t die or wither, regardless of the abuse they receive. Love to run around on the lawn? With artificial turf, you don’t have to worry about dead spots.

 Unfortunately, having artificial grass doesn’t mean you can ignore it. You still have some responsibilities and work to do. Most of your work involves cleaning and maintaining the turf’s appearance. The tools you need will slightly differ depending on how you use your yard.

 

Make time for regular cleaning

Regular cleaning sessions for your artificial lawn will be your most common activity. Usually, a long hose and a steady flow of water are enough to give your artificial turf a rinse. The goal is to dislodge and wash off any dust and small debris from the turf’s surface.

 Depending on how frequent you use your artificial lawn and who uses it, you may have to do regular cleaning every week. If you always have kids playing and pets relieving themselves on the turf, a weekly rinse is needed. Doing so helps prevent odor-causing bacteria and grime buildup from accumulating. You may also consider investing in some environmentally-friendly turf deodorizer.

 On the other hand, if your artificial lawn doesn’t get much activity or if you live in a low-pollen/low-dust area, a biweekly rinse is enough.

 

“Grooming” your lawn

Because artificial grass doesn’t spring back to shape after getting bent, you’ll have to coax the leaf blades back into shape manually. To do so, you can take a flexible rake or a hard-bristled brush and run it across your lawn. This will push the blades back up, along with taking any debris in between blades.

 You can incorporate this in your regular cleaning schedule, especially if your artificial lawn gets a lot of activity. Doing so also ensures that the soil underneath the turf gets evened. Neglecting this activity flattens not only your turf but also the land.

 

Schedule some deep cleaning

Keeping up with a regular cleaning schedule is vital for your artificial lawn, but so does a good deep cleaning. Ideally, you want to use a motorized brush for this process. But if you don’t have one, some good old elbow-grease will also do the job. Regardless, your goal is to scrub the entire yard thoroughly to dislodge anything that the regular cleaning missed.

 Deep cleaning is also the best time to run a magnet through the yard to ensure that no stray metallic items are left on its surface. This is also the perfect time to apply anti-microbial solutions on popular pet urinating spots, along with a thorough deodorizing of the artificial turf.

 

Other ways to care for your artificial lawn

Regular cleaning and faithful deep cleaning schedules are just a part of your responsibilities in maintaining your artificial lawn. You have a few more to keep in mind if you want to keep your turf pristine.

 If you or anyone in your family is a smoker, make sure they don’t toss live cigarette butts on the artificial grass. Doing so will create burn spots all over the yard. You also need to be careful if you do a lot of grilling on your yard; the flying embers may land on the artificial lawn and leave a burn spot. Of course, the burnt spots can always be replaced, but frequent repairs will cost money.

 Also, make sure that you’re not dumping or leaking stuff like motor oil and battery acid on the artificial grass. Not only are those hard to clean, but they can also leave stains that are tough to remove.

 

Final thoughts

Even though artificial grass still requires some work to maintain, it’s not as demanding as keeping a yard full of live grass. So before you even begin researching for the best artificial grass to put on your yard, you need to study and prepare for a few things. Regular cleaning ensures that your artificial lawn is always pristine, and deep cleaning sessions guarantees that your perfectly manicured turf will last a long time. 

Treat your artificial lawn with care to continue enjoying its benefits.

 

Best Tips for Hedge Trimming You Need to Know

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

One of the most appealing plants to have in your garden are the perfectly trimmed hedges. They can serve as fences and decoration, if maintained properly. The amount and timing of trimming depends very much on the species of the hedge. So, before you read this article, make sure you’ve found out what your hedge is. Here are the best tips on trimming a hedge for a beautiful garden.

The Shrubs That are Perfect for Hedges

As we said earlier, it’s important to know what shrubs you have in order to adapt different techniques for trimming. For example, species like Conifers don’t do well when old woods is cut into. There are many shrubs that will look great in your garden, but there are a few which are notably suitable and deal well with trimming. Those are camellia, cypress, strawberry tree, wild privet, weigela, photinia and flowering currant.

Tools for Trimming a Hedge

It’s not impossible to trim the hedges by hand with scissors, but a hedge trimmer is definitely preferable. You should, however, always have a hand held shears, which will help you will smaller trimming projects or quick fix-ups. You can buy the hedge trimmer from a gardening or home improvement shop. To ease your job, you can buy a trimmer with double blades. That would save you time and energy by cutting your work in half. 

It’s advisable to pick a cordless hedge trimmers for smallers shrubs as it has the same power as the electric or petrol ones. For shrubs taller than 5 meters use an electric or petrol hedge trimmer in order to reduce some workload. And, for the larger branches use pruners and shears. 

You need to make sure the trimmer is well maintained so you don’t damage your hedges. A blunt blade can damage the branches by tearing and shredding rather than cutting them. You should also ensure that the blade is kept clean as while you trim a hedge, sap can accumulate on harden. 

You have to accept and understand, though, that even with the best trimming machine, you won’t become instantly good at this process. You need steady hands and patience, but also a lot of practice. But don’t worry too much about it! Make mistakes and learn from them. 

Perfect Time for Trimming

Timing of trimming also depends on  the type of shrubs you have. Major shapings should happen once a year when the growth period is finished or has slowed down. Most hedges flower in spring or summer, so make sure you are familiar with the plant cycle of yours. For those that flower in spring trim them after they are done blooming. Those that flower in summer trim them at the end of winter or early spring. And, for those that don’t flower at all, trim them after any new growth appears to be fully formed. You can also do occasionally light trimming every now and then with hand shears.

Best Techniques to Trim a Hedge

If you’ve recently planned your hedges, it’s good to trim them early on. That will help them grow healthier and will determine their shape. But no matter the age of the hedge, a good trim should leave the hedge wider at the bottom and slightly narrow at the top. This way the sunlight is able to reach the whole hedge equally for a healthy growth. 

Help Yourself With the Clean Up in Advance

Work smart, not hard. Before you start trimming, lay down a cloth or tarpaulin around the shrubs. As you are cutting off the branches and leaves, they will fall down on them. Thus, at the end of the trimming just pick up, fold the cloth and throw away all the waste that was generated.

Start with the Vertical Sides

Take a look at your shrubs and picture the way you want to form them. When trimming the hedge, you should start with cutting the vertical sides first using upward and downward sweeping motions. When you get to the top side of the hedge, you have to angle the blade at 10 degrees to the horizontal and use scything motions.

Cut Off with the Outer Branches

Focus first on trimming the outer branches and thinning out any dense areas on the outside of the shrubs. Cut close to the main stem to encourage new growth all the way along the branch. If you cut near the top of the branches, you promote growth only near the top.

Thin Out the Inside

Then, start trimming little deeper into the shrub. Remove all dead or broken branches since they only interfere with the plants’ growth. By thinning out the inside, you let the plant breathe and prevent forming of mold or other pathogenic growth. Still, make sure you don’t remove more than ? of the shrubs’ inside.

Look for Straight Lines as Guidance

While trimming, look around for any straight lines that you can use as guidelines. For example, the edges of your house, street signs, other hedges, roads, etc. That will help you with staying steady and keeping your eyes on point. Trimming a hedge perfectly takes practice and you probably won’t succeed from the first time. Using straight lines as guidance, however, definitely helps for a well-shaped shrub

Use Strings for Guides

You can also use strings to guide your trimming for straight and clean edges. Stick four stakes into the soil at all 4 corners of the shrub. If you want to shape the shrub in a form, different than a rectangle, stick the stakes at every angle. Lay strings from one stake to another in a parallel to the ground manner. You can use a ruler to help you with that. Now you can start trimming by using the strings as guidelines for a well-leveled shrub.

Enjoy the Process

As we mentioned a few times already, trimming takes practice and patience. This is why there are many professional gardeners who do this for a living. But don’t worry, the more you do it, the better you will get at it. And, you will be able to brag about your skills and perfectly shaped hedges on the next garden party.

There you have it, all the information you need to perfectly trim your hedges for a beautiful and lush garden. Of course, you can always use your imagination and trim your hedges in all shapes and forms. Especially, when you get used to using the tools and learn what your plants need for a healthy grow, you can go all creative. Now, let’s start trimming!

Author’s Bio:

Name: Dimo Koev

Dimo has 10+ years of experience in landscaping services, garden design and maintenance, lawn care, turfing, hedge trimming, weeding, fencing, decking, patio and driveway laying, planting, garden clearance, and more. He is the president of Professional Gardening Services, which delivers the bespoke gardening services in London. Dimo believes in constantly adapting, innovating and learning about his industry in order to deliver the best service to his clients. That’s why he is so enthusiastic and eager to share his knowledge and skills with everyone who needs gardening advice.

 

 

 

Best Gardening Tips For Each Season

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

A garden has many personalities that are dependent on the tilt of the earth and the local climates and seasons. As much as gardening is a science, it is also an art, and these tips are starting guides for garden care in each season. Take these ideas and see how they relate to your garden and create your own personalised gardening timeline.

 

Spring

Plant any bare-rooted plants, such as soft fruits and roses. Pay attention to your bulbs, your tulips and daffodils, which should look magnificent this time of the year. After they flower, take off any wilted flowers and seed heads and tease out the bulb with its leaves and replant them about 60-75mm apart.

A lawn treatment is a great way to spruce up your lawn and should be applied on a dry day with a thorough watering after three days, though check the specifics on your specific fertilizer. 

There is so much to do in spring, especially if you are a vegetable grower. If the atmosphere and the ground is still too cold for your vegetables then you will need a gently heated propagator to give them a boost. As soon as the seeds are up, transfer them to a cooler and turn them every day by a quarter for a well-rounded plant.

 

Summer

During the dog days of summer, water your plants early in the morning and late in the evening to maximise your water efficiency. This is also when your pollinators will be blooming and keeping your bees happy. These include sunflowers, zinnias, and other wildflowers which are great additions to your yard and keep the ecosystem moving.

During periods of good weather is the time to tackle any large garden renovation projects such as installing patios, garden paths and ponds. Plus, this is the perfect time to visit national gardens to get inspiration for next year, get any tips for flowers that haven’t done as well as you planned, and bask in the beauty of nature.

 

Fall

Autumn is the time to clean the garden and prepare the beds for next spring. Bulbs that bloom in spring, your asters, pansies and chrysanthemums, will do well getting used to your garden’s soil at this time. Additionally, plant new shrubs and trees now as there is plenty of ambient moisture and the tree will be dormant which reduces the effects of transplant shock.

Clean up unwanted growth now; your spent vegetable plants and any weeds. Prepare the flower beds by clearing away leaf debris. This can be a chore, especially if you have a lot of dead leaves. 

Removing plant debris is essential for reducing plant disease risk and pests. Empty your compost bins and start a new batch with the falling foliage. Your compost can be used as a heat blanket around your most sensitive plants to keep them snug for next season.

 

Winter

In general, winter temperatures won’t kill ornamental plants. A higher risk time for them is spring when there are occasional warm spells that wake them from dormancy followed by cold spells. Protect your flowering plants with a frost cover, not a plastic sheet which produces an oven effect if the sun is strong unexpectedly.

During winter, you can relax with regards to clearing bulb foliage and regular watering schedules. Additionally, don’t fertilise at this period because you will stimulate new plant growth which is dangerous during this period.

Each season has its own needs and its own treasures. Gardening is a wonderful, varied pastime that can help you keep tabs on how your environment is changing and nurture something that will grow more beautiful over time. Do you have your own seasonal gardening tips or successes? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Staying safe when using BBQs: An expert Guide

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

As the warmer months are upon us, there’s nothing quite like dining under the sun, amongst the great outdoors. Therefore, there’s no surprise why so many of us, (when the weather is just right) jump to the chance, of bringing out those paddling pools and fire up the BBQ at every opportunity.  Hosting a BBQ, gives excuse to bring friends and family together, but let’s not forget the potential of health hazards brought along with it.

From ensuring food is cooked thoroughly and at the right temperatures, to keeping people at safe distances away from the heat of the grill, it’s important to stay aware of the safety so that everyone can make the most out of your BBQ without the risk of injury.

That’s why Flogas, provider of Gas for BBQs, offer precautions to consider.

Preparing your food
Across the UK, each year there is an estimate of one million reports of food poisoning. With that in mind, it’s clear to assume that many of us are still not taking the appropriate precautions when handling and storing food.

Sadly, the warmer weather can bring a hot spot for bacteria to breed (which increases the chances of food being contaminated, which then leads to food poisoning risk) but fear not, after following these guidelines, you can keep all you BBQs guests safe as possible.

Start by sticking by the rules of the four ‘c’s:

  1. Chilling 
  • Always defrost your BBQ food overnight in a fridge, rather than leaving it to defrost at room temperature. 
  • Allow any leftover cooked foods to cool and then store them in a fridge (within a two-hour window).
  • Don’t overfill your fridge – overfilling stops air from circulating properly. 
  • Regularly check the temperature of your fridge with a thermometer. In-built fridge temperature gauges don’t always give the correct temperature!
  1. Cooking 
  • When cooking meat, ensure it reaches the right temperature for long enough to kill any bacteria. If in doubt, use a cooking thermometer! For beef burgers, before eating the inside temperature should be roughly 71°C. Sausages should be 65°C, and it’s 73°C for chicken.
  • If you slice into the cooked meat, it should be steaming hot throughout.
  • None of the cooked meat should look pink when you cut into the thickest part.
  • All of the juices from the meat should run clear once cooked.
  1. Cleaning
  • Always clean any utensils, plates and chopping boards before and after cooking.
  • Don’t wash chicken or any other raw meat as splashing water containing harmful bacteria could spread to your food preparation areas.
  1. Cross-contamination
  • Cross-contamination often occurs when raw food touches or drips onto surfaces. Always use different plates, chopping boards and utensils for raw food and cooked food.
  • Washing hands in hot soapy water before and after handling food will reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
  • Ensure that any raw foods are kept separate to food that’s ready to eat.

Safety Precautions around Gas BBQs
Choosing to use a gas-powered BBQ brings many advantages over a charcoal BBQ. As well as being quicker to set up and easier to get going, they give users greater control over the temperature, meaning food is more likely to be cooked properly before serving.

With any gas-powered appliances, it’s important to follow some basic safety rules when cooking with gas cylinders:

  1. Cylinder safety can vary from brand to brand. Always follow the manufacturer’s advice when handling and using BBQ gas cylinders. 
  2. If you need to change your gas cylinder, make sure that the tap is properly switched off before you start.
  3. If you think there’s the possibility of a leak on the cylinder or pipework, isolate the source and call your cylinder supplier’s emergency number immediately.
  4. After you’ve finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinder first (to ensure that any remaining gas is used), then turn the BBQ off at the controls.

Safety precautions around BBQs in general
Along with understanding the values of food safety and staying safe when handling gas, next comes some general safe BBQ tips to bare in mind to help prevent unwanted incidents:

  1. It may sound obvious, but never barbecue indoors or on balconies.
  2. Be aware of where you are placing your BBQ. Keep it on flat ground as far away from flammable surfaces as possible (this includes sheds, fences, trees and tents).
  3. If there are children or pets nearby, keep them well clear of the cooking area. 
  4. Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby in case of an emergency.
  5. After cooking, do not attempt to the move the BBQ until it is cool.

Despite the dangers associated with BBQs, they shouldn’t prevent you from impressing your guests with your amazing cooking skills, but just bare in mind to keep safety upfront.