Taking the time to fertilize in the fall will strengthen your plants’ and lawn’s roots, giving them a strong base on which to thrive next spring. The first thing to understand about fertilizer is the formula, which is represented by three numbers, such as the common 5-10-5. The first number represents nitrogen, which promotes lawn blade and foliage growth; the second number stands for phosphorus, which helps root growth; and the third for potassium, which promotes cell function and absorption of trace elements.

Early in September, grass is recovering from a long hot summer and may be coming out of a drought-induced dormancy, so you’ll want to give your lawn a shot of nitrogen to push blade growth. A fertilizer with a formula of 20-8-8 will get it growing again.

An application at the end of October or early November is essential. At that time, apply a fertilizer with a formula of 13-25-12. The push of phosphorus will stimulate root growth through November and even into early December. By helping roots grow before winter sets in, you are insuring that the lawn will green-up quicker in the spring and become more resistant to disease and draught.


Use Eye Protection
This is a given for nearly every power tool, but especially so for a circular saw. Chips fly and can obscure your vision or even lodge themselves in your eye.

Keep your Cord Clear
When ripping an eight foot sheet of plywood, it’s easy for the cord to get looped around the end of the board, causing you to stop mid-cut and move it. This will often create an unsightly notch in your cut when you restart. You also don’t want to risk running through the cord with your blade.

The Fence: Use it, Love it
You might have bought your saw and seen this thing and have never used it. For cutting strips off boards with machined edges, it’s invaluable. It will absolutely give you the straightest cut possible.

Pick the Right Blade, and Use it Correctly
There are different blades for different materials, and even different applications within the same material. Make sure you’re using the right one, and make sure it’s rotating in the proper direction!

Quickly Scribing a Line
The most accurate way to make a straight line on a plywood sheet is to measure the width at both ends, then snap a chalk line. But if you’re in a hurry, or the line doesn’t need to be super accurate, you can scribe it by setting your width with a tape measure, planting a pencil on your mark, and sliding it down the length of the board. Make sure to keep the tape perpendicular to the board edge.

Set your Depth
Not only is it dangerous to plunge your saw all the way through a piece of wood, but it makes for a much sloppier cut. Set your depth so the teeth are just coming out the bottom. For big pieces of wet wood, make sure the entire gullet (the gap in between the teeth) clears, or else the saw will clog up.

Get Comfy with your Saw
Different saws have different types of markings on them for when you’re cutting. Don’t trust that they’ll correspond to where the blade is going to go. Learn your tool’s idiosyncrasies, and take the blade kerf into account.

The Circular Saw Notch Hack
If you need to cut a notch in a piece of wood but don’t have the proper tool to do it, you can just use a circular saw and a chisel. Set your depth and make several cuts that are close together. Break the bits away with a chisel and you have your notch.

Hands Away from the Blade
It’s easy to be casual around this tool because the blade has a sliding guard. Don’t be fooled. A circular saw is basically a handheld table saw and should be treated with respect.

Aim Forward
Take a close look at where the blade touches your mark, but after that, follow the line just ahead of the saw. The idea is similar to that of follow-through in sports. You’ll end up with a much straighter line.


7/31/15 FUN FACT FRIDAY – How to Clean a Wooden Fence

July 31, 2015 Is Your Wooden Fence in Need of Attention?  Clean it with These Tips! Replacing a wooden fence is a huge, pricey job.  If your fence is lacking its luster, it might just need a good cleaning. Getting Ready Pressure washing and cleaning might harm your plants, so to take care of them you’ll have […]

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7/24/14 FUN FACT FRIDAY – Plants that are natural repellants for Mosquitos!

July 24, 2015 Try planting mosquito repellant plants in your garden. Be sure to plant enough in the garden. A better option might be to plant them into containers that you can move and group around a patio or table area when needed, and moved indoors, when the weather gets to cold. Pennyroyal helps to repel mosquitoes, […]

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7/17/15 FUN FACT FRIDAY – 4 tips for energy efficiency in the bathroom

July 20, 2015

High Efficiency Shower Heads: Most shower heads have 2.5 gallons per minute flow rates, and modern high efficiency shower heads can reduce that amount by half or more. Newer fixtures maintain pressure and don’t sacrifice water flow for efficiency like earlier models did. In fact, it will be hard to tell any difference after you […]

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7/10/15 FUN FACT FRIDAY – 10 Ways to Make a Small Kitchen Feel Bigger

July 10, 2015!DhJOfV:fpzxMRb5/ Replace solid cabinet doors with glass ones. Glass fronts lighten the look of cabinetry and allow the eye to travel through to the back don’t clutter the interiors. Paint cabinets the same color as the walls. Limiting the cabinetry and the wall color to a single hue erases visual boundaries that might stop the […]

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7/3/15 – FUN FACT FRIDAY – 12 Brilliant Ways To Keep Your Home Cool Without Air Conditioning

July 10, 2015 Keep your blinds closed.  Up to 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows, and utilizing shades, curtains and the like can save you up to 7 percent on your bills and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees. Be smart about your doors. Close off rooms to prevent the cool air […]

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June 26, 2015; Root cellars are an incredibly energy-efficient way to store root vegetables, including beets, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and turnips. You can keep root vegetables stored all winter long—until your garden or farmer’s market offers new greens in the spring. A temperature of 32–40°F and a humidity level of 85–95 percent are required to stop […]

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June 19, 2015

I found this picture from a 1923 advertisement. Thought it worth sharing. A new concrete mixer, now being offered for contractors’ use, is mounted on a rubber-tired two-wheel truck so that it can be easily and quickly moved from one job to another. Whereas the usual portable type of mixer cannot be hauled faster than […]

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6/12/15 FUN FACT FRIDAY – One Small Tip to Make a Room Seem Larger

June 12, 2015

Got space problems? Changing the way your door swings might help. A 32-inch door typically eats up about 13 sq. ft. of floor space when it swings. Change the door swing and you can decide where to place that wasted space — on the left or right of your doorway, or on the inside or […]

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