Helen2 months ago
Internet: What's useful, what's contradictory, and what saves money?Comments (7)HI socks: thanks for the tip on retailmenot.com and ebates.com. We printed out coupon for $36 off from Vision Works, but didn't bring it along, since thought our kid's glasses would be covered by insurance (can't use coupon). When we were ready to pay, our insurance didn't go through, and we had to DRIVE ALL THE WAY home, just to fetch the coupon. I don't like shopping at Bed & Bath Beyond since it's a hassle to take the 20% coupon along. I forgot one time, and the store clerk won't give me one. What I love about the Internet is it ENABLES the average person to take care of themselves better, without paying $$$ to "experts" who don't give a damn. My husband is "one" with his car, so when it broke down, he knew immediately that's the generator. He took his old generator to the auto-shop to be tested. They tested it WRONG, and told him it's OK. So he took his car to the dealer. The dealer charged $$$ for diagnostic tests, but could not find anything wrong with his car. HIs car broke down again !! He got mad and took it to his friend, a mechanic. His friend agreed that it's the generator, put a new one in, and it WORKED !! Same with my sister, a retired Internal Medicine doctor with decades of experience. My period stopped at menopause (51) for months, then it came back ungodly heavy. My M.D. sister told me it's cancer. I disagree, and told her it's from the pumpkin seeds I eat for months. She didn't believe me until I dug up researches from government website that prove the potent estrogenic effect of pumpkin seeds. My 12 year old daughter was also eating tons of pumpkin seeds, and had 1-month-long period. Both of our bleeding stopped when we stopped the pumpkin seeds, with the Internet confirmed our suspicion....See More
What’s the purpose of these planters and what goes in them?Comments (25)This would be why you 'water' your foundations - pretty much all of Texas has clay soils, high temperatures, and random but alternating periods which vary in length, of drought then more rain than it can handle. Placement of the soaker hose that other posters have mentioned, seems to be a key factor in the success of your foundation watering process. OP, that skinny planter under the overhang and behind the larger one might be something that the builder did to keep roots from whatever is in the bed in front of it from growing and making their way into your crawl space. I can't be entirely sure because I'm not there to look at it in person. :P My parents had a bed planter along both sides of the garage which was on slab only, while the rest of the house had a raised foundation (this was in SoCal) and planters along that in front where the master bed/bath was as well as in the back where the other two bedrooms were. When they decided to extend the master bedroom about 6 feet and reducing the sqft of lawn from where the front of the house ended to the sidewalk, they had to add some additional supports that went down into the ground deeper than the ones that were there before and put in some kind of root barrier to keep plants with extensive root systems from eventually causing all of the supports underneath the entire extension from shifting and potential collapse in an earthquake or in the event of significant soil settlement. The neighborhood nearby had houses that sank and some that heaved upwards because the entire area used to be dairy farms. That one was all slab foundations, but whether the house was on a raised foundation or a slab, the possibility of sink or upheaval was a concern because the prior land use was dairy farming. Add to that, earthquake risks and frequent periods of drought, alternating with el nino weather events? We probably could have used some foundation watering ourselves. :P For the particular concerns about the clay soils where you are and the type of foundation you've got, I'd consider using containers, partial sun/partial shade plants, and hand watering with a hose for the narrow planter area underneath the overhang. The wider one in front of it, something with deeper roots but ones that don't grow like crazy in every direction and more of a ground-cover that is low growing/spreads horizontally more than vertically. I'd suggest going to a plant nursery (if you can find one locally that isn't at a big box chain store like Home Depot, Lowes, etc...that would be ideal) and asking them what they'd suggest, and show them photos taken of the areas you intend to plant in on your phone (since most people have cell phones and those tend to have cameras built into them) for reference....See More
What’s wrong with my cast iron plant?Comments (11)Here is what I would do: * Unpot the plant(s). * Melt a drain hole through the bottom of the pot at the sidewall. * Place a plastic or clay pot upside down in the bottom of the pot the plant is in. There should be at least 1/2" between the rim of the overturned pot and the inside of the sidewall. Cover the drainhole(s) in the overturned pot with insect screen or a piece of plastic. The cover is only to stop soil from falling through the drain holes. (See D below for a sense of how much excess water this simple trick will eliminate) * Insert a wick through the hole in the bottom of the pot. If you wish, you can melt a second hole through the bottom opposite the first; then, a single wick can be used. I use 100% rayon mop strands for the wicks. They work VERY well; so well in fact, that they allow me to water plants in the 5:1:1 mix on a schedule, which is supposed to be taboo. * When you water, water thoroughly so you wet the entire soil column. Tip the just watered pot at a 45* angle (see B above) so a drain hole with a wick through it is at the lowest point (see E above). The wick should hang at least 3" below the pot bottom until it stops draining. It should drain all or almost all of the excess water the soil holds. See the mophead in the image below (along with some of the repotting tools I use). The following sequence shows a wick set-up for pots with a single drain hole. The wick works better when the hole is through the bottom at the sidewall. I honestly did not think a cast iron plant would be fussy in their choice of soil composition. Most plants commonly grown as houseplants (other than cacti and some succulents) do not vary much in what they want insofar as a grow medium and moisture levels. They almost ALL want a medium that is evenly damp or moist with plenty of air porosity to drive root function. Where they DO vary is where the limits to what they will tolerate lie. The most commonly grown houseplants all tolerate indoor conditions. Some are known to tolerate low light or dry soil conditions better than others, but very few will tolerate the watering cycle that includes a large fraction of roots completely inundated for such long periods. A well-made 5:1:1 mix will (structurally) last much longer than media based on peat/ coir/ compost/ composted forest products, and can generally be watered almost at will without serious consequences in the form or limited root function or poor root health. The reason a 5:1:1 mix with too much fine material can't offer the same benefits as a 5:1:1 mix with an appropriate fraction of fine material is exactly the same reason that adding a bit bark and perlite to a poorly made commercial mix doesn't work. It is essential the the volume of particles larger than about 1/8" make up somewhere around 80-85% of the mix. Examples: A) If you have a jar of peat and add an equal measure of pine bark thinking it will improve aeration, it will be a failure because there is more than enough peat to fill all pore space between bark particles. B) If you have a commercial grow medium you feel is holding too much water and try to amend it with pine bark and or perlite, thinking it will improve aeration, it will also be a failure unless you add so much bark and perlite that, combined, they make up a fraction of the medium by far larger than the original soil you started with. In fact, adding pine bark and or perlite to a water-retentive medium continually DECREASES o/a air porosity until reaching "threshold proportion", where there is no longer enough fine material to fill pores between the coarse material. From that point on, adding additional coarse material significantly increases o/a aeration. Al...See More
What’s the most powerful shower head?Comments (5)If you have hard water (when you get white deposits around the holes in your shower head), look for a head with rubbery holes that allow you to simply rub them to dislodge the calcium/lime deposits and have the water spray them away. Any shower head will give less water with this kind of buildup. My rainhead, a Hansgrohe, has the rubbery nozzles and I just take my long handled scrubber and rub it across several times with the water running to get all the holes spraying full again....See More
linda campbell2 months ago
Iri2 months ago
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