March 18, 2021

Protect Your Hard Work and Flowers

Every spring you begin the fulfilling work of renewing, replanting, and caring for your garden and lawn. It is both a hobby and a chore, but you are no doubt proud of the work you’ve done and do every year. Weeding, raking, turning the soil, planting, mulching, and watering daily might be your favorite thing to do. The results of all that hard work are often stunning.

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Hours, days, and weeks of hard work pay off soon as tender annuals bloom and your flower bed looks more beautiful than the year before. One morning you prepare to tend your lawn or garden by watering as usual. You begin to unreel the high-quality garden hose you’ve invested in and make your way to water your plants. Perhaps you pull a bit hard to get a little more reach on the hose that morning and—boom—you’ve accidentally flattened or worse, decapitated tender new shoots and flowers from your well-cared-for flower bed.

This scenario unfortunately is familiar for so many gardeners. Luckily, there is a wonderfully easy solution to protect your hard work and flowers all at once.

You may be familiar with them, if not, it is called a hose guide and it will help save your plants without marring the beautiful vista of greenery you’ve worked hard to create.

What are Hose Guides?

Simply put hose guides are objects that can be placed around corners of flower beds or around sensitive plants to prevent your garden hose from dragging over them. Functional, well-made hose guides are an excellent investment to protect the hard work that you do. The payoff is instant, as it saves you time from having to fix an uprooted plant, or having to purchase a new one, or having to start all over from seed once again.

How Long Will a Good Hose Guide Last?

If you purchase a hose guide made from the right materials, unlike plastic guides, they should last many, many years. Some exceptionally made hose guides may come with a 10-year warranty. With proper care and premium materials, your hose guide should last you several years without having to worry about replacement, corrosion, or breakage.

How to Choose a Quality Hose Guide

There are a wide variety of different hose guides to find. Some of them are ornamental and add beauty to a lawn, some of them are purely functional and may be obvious. A few of them can blend in seamlessly with your lawn or garden. Given how much time and effort you put into your flower beds, gardens and lawn, a hose guide should not detract from your efforts.
  • Look for a hose guide that doesn’t detract from the beauty of your lawns, gardens, and flowers. 
  • A hose guide should provide both innovative design and extremely user-friendly features. It should be easy to install and use. 
  • A quality hose guide should not snag or make it more difficult to unreel more hose when you need it. A garden hose shouldn’t catch or stick to a hose guide. While a hose guide that your hose sticks or catches on still protects plants, unfortunately, that just makes watering your garden more difficult as you will need to take time to struggle with the garden hose. 
  • High-quality materials made to withstand outdoor use. A hose guide will be outside during sun, rain, wind, and all sorts of weather. If it is made from subpar materials that cannot withstand UV rays or are not corrosion and rust-resistant, you might find yourself having to repeatedly purchase a new hose guide over and over. Not only is that a waste of time and your hard-earned cash, but a weak hose guide could also unexpectedly break in the middle of use which then presents the same problem—your hose accidentally crushing or tearing out plants. 
  • A hose guide should pivot as well. Having a pivoting hose guide allows the guide to be able to move with the garden hose to keep it captured and ensure that it won’t slip off. 
  • As well as not detracting from your landscape, you should be able to hide your hose guide when not in use. The ground tube should easily blend in with the yard and not become a tripping hazard at the same time.

With such an important role a good hose guide plays, it truly is a must-have to protect your hard work and flowers. It is a perfect tool for every landscaper, no matter their experience. Therefore, if you haven’t gotten one yet, consider purchasing one to save yourself valuable time, effort, money, and your beautiful gardens. 

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February 26, 2021

How to Repair A Window Screen Frame After A Hurricane

When hurricane season comes around, homeowners in commonly affected regions begin to worry. Should a hurricane come near your neighborhood, you likely won’t be surprised that there is damage to assess and repair or replace. Because they’re not as strong as the rest of the home, window screens and screened-in porches are usually the first to take on hurricane damage. Luckily, you’re in good shape if this is the extent of your home’s damage, as window screen frames are quite easy to repair. Here’s what you should do if your home’s window screens need some TLC after a hurricane has passed through.

Inspect the Frame and Screen
The first thing to do before making repairs is to confirm what is repairable and what needs total replacement. This should just take a moment, as you’ll know what kind of damage you’re dealing with right away. Is the screen frame bent in a few different places, or is it bent beyond repair? Maybe you’re lucky and you can hammer a few small dents back into place. How is the screen material? Small holes and tears can be mended with pre-manufactured patches, but larger areas of damage will call for total replacement.

Repair the Window Screen Material
If just a few smaller repairs need to be made for your window screen material, here is what you should do.

First, make sure you know what type of screen material you have. Is it fiberglass, aluminum, bronze, or some other type? This is crucial for ordering patch kits. For very small holes in non-metal screens like fiberglass, a bit of instant glue should do the trick. For metal screen, you can use epoxy.

For larger, but not huge tears, a patch kit is needed. When beginning the repair, cut the patch to 1.5” inches larger than the tear or hole. Use a clean brush to clear away any dirt or dust in the area (this is essential for the adhesive). Then, apply the adhesive (or a heavy-duty weatherproof glue if your kit doesn’t have an included adhesive) and then the patch. Allow it to dry on its own. In time, the entire screen will need to be replaced. However, it may be best to not do a total replacement until hurricane season has ended.

Replace the Entire Window Screen
More likely than not, the hurricane has totally warped your screen frames. Luckily, you won’t need a professional screener to build new ones. You can find affordable screen material and pre-cut Window screen frame in DIY kits that walk you through the entire process. Even beginners can build these frames! If you’ve never built a screen before, ordering a kit will provide everything you need for assembly. Make sure you know the dimensions of your frame before ordering so you don’t run into any issues. You will also need to know the right type of screen material for your needs here. If you order pre-cut frame, it will make this process even easier. Here is the gist of what screen assembly looks like:

1.      Assemble the screen frame using the provided frame corner inserts

2.     Lay the screen material onto the frame and cut it 1” larger than the frame (having a partner here will help stabilize the screen)

3.      Attach the screen to the frame using a spline roller

4.      Use the same spline roller to then press the rubber spline into the frame to secure the screen fabric

5.      Use a utility knife to remove excess screen material

6.      Ensure the screen feels taut in the frame and not loose

This is a general overview that showcases just how easy it is to build your own screen frames. Hurricane season can be unforgiving in many ways for homeowners. Repairing your own screens will allow you to save money and resolve minor issues without waiting for a professional. In the future, consider removing your screens altogether when a storm is approaching. In the face of a powerful hurricane, these won’t do much in the way of protection. It may be best to remove and store them indoors for safekeeping until the storm passes. Structural repairs to your home will cost enough on their own, so removing your screens will keep minimize additional costs. Plus, this may even save your windows. When fine-mesh screen materials become saturated with water, the high winds of the storm will causing it to beat against your windows. This could result in a broken window and a blown screen. Only remove your screens if you have the time to do so – do NOT attempt removal during a hurricane.
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