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What Is The Right Mailbox For Your Home?

What Is The Right Mailbox For Your Home?

Choosing the right mailbox is a part of owning a home. Be sure to choose one that reflects your personality. Most importantly, opt for one that makes a very unique statement regarding your personal style.

Different Types of Mailboxes

  1. Novelty Mailboxes – These can add drama and interest to your yard. Most are custom boxes made from various standard rounded tops. Some boxes can be shaped to resemble cats, dogs, cows, horses, mermaids, fire trucks, chickens, hammers, college team mascots, and flamingos. Manufacturers can also create a custom box based on your specific requirements
  2. Wall Mounted Mailboxes – These are available in different style, shapes, and sizes. Generally, they are installed at your home’s front entry door. They may require the use of mounting screws, anchors, and a drill. They can be made from very durable plastics, steel or galvanised metals. Also, they can be decorated with unique styles.
  3. Masonry – The use of stone, brick, concrete or granite for your post must conform to both the state codes and the postal requirements.
  4. Mailbox Sets – These include the mailbox and mounting post. Most of these will require assembly. Today, there are plenty of elegantly and uniquely designed box and post sets on the market.

You can also create your very own mailbox; however, you need to get approval from the postmaster and governing authorities before spending money and time on it.

Choosing a Mailbox Post

Plastic – Your mailbox post can be made from molded plastic. You can choose from interesting hues and unique designs with integrated features like newspaper holders. Plastic mailbox posts are very durable. In fact, it can outlast metal or wood posts.

Metal – Metal posts are available in aluminium and galvanized steel. Both of these materials are durable. However, aluminium is more advantageous since it does not rust.

Wood – This is probably the most traditional choice. If you want a more appealing style, you can opt for stylish wood posts with complex supports, a horizontal arm, and other integrations. Here are some of the best options:

  • Redwood and Cedar – These are both resistant to insects but are costly. An underground preservative might be necessary to prolong its lifespan; apply it right to ground level.
  • Untreated Woods – These may require preservatives below and above-grade. Of any post, they have the shortest lifespan since they are not resistant to rot and insects.
  • Pressure-treated Wood – This has a very high resistance to insects and rot because they are infused with a powerful preservative. Also, it can last longer underground as compared to other wood products.

 

Sprucing Up an Ordinary Mailbox

An excellent way of decorating a plain style mailbox is through the use of a mailbox cover. Covers can actually be changed easily depending on the season.

Using a topper is another way of adding character to your mailbox. It can easily be mounted on the top of the mailbox with screws.

Integrating features like metal signs displaying your address and name can also boost the appeal and functionality of your mailbox.

About the Author:

Kenneth Lawrence’s craft involves DIY concepts. Also, he values the importance of getting expert help whenever necessary. He visits sites like http://www.sandleford.com.au and shares guidelines and tips about home improvement.

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Starting A Vegetable Garden: Motivational Tips For Beginners

Starting A Vegetable Garden: Motivational Tips For Beginners

Vegetable Garden

Back in the day our ancestors did not have to go very far to buy vegetables, they just had to step out in their garden and pick up free, fresh veggies. Unfortunately over generations most of us have lost touch with our natural gardening instincts due to the busy lifestyle we lead. As we get older and wiser we feel the need to get back to those “roots” and luckily these days gardening is making a comeback with the younger generation as well.

Why Grow Your Own?

– Planting your own food is much healthier than store-bought, you know where it came from and exactly how it was grown.

– Not buying from stores means you won’t be supporting commercial farming that uses chemicals and pesticides and therefore your garden contributes to the eco-friendly lifestyle.

– Once you get those vegetables growing they are yours for free.

– Planting, growing and harvesting helps you get reconnected with nature.

– Food that is home-grown tastes better than those store-bought, it is often juicier and  more vibrant in texture.

seeds

 

It’s Not That Complicated!

A garden is a fusion of air, light and water – it is a living, breathing thing. It is important to understand the interaction between all of the elements of your garden and what those mean for your plants. This is why getting started may seem very intimidating for someone who has never tried it. So where should you begin? Start by deciding what you are going to plant by asking these questions:

– What vegetables grow best in your climate?

– What vegetables do you personally love to eat?

– Are there certain vegetables that you’d like to eat but that are difficult to find locally in stores or that are very expensive?

When you have decided what you want to plant be sure to follow the tips below to not only become more confident but help ensure success. Now is the time to stop procrastinating and start planting!

“There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments” – Janet Kilburn Phillips

Soil

 

Simple Tips For Beginners

– Plant your seeds where the sun shines. Some vegetable need at least 6 hours of sun a day. A good rule to follow is to remember that vegetables that carry a fruit or root need full sun (6 hours), such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and squash. Those you grow for their leaves or buds will do fine with little sun, such as salad, spinach, radish, beans and broccoli.

– You should always choose good soil. Compost is a great way to add nutrients to the soil you use as well, it can be store-bought or you can make it yourself. By sprinkling eggshells on your soil, you will give your plants a calcium boost and coffee grounds will enrich it and keep it safe from pests. Make sure the soil does not soak up the water to quick yet does not collect the water on top.

– If plants are growing too close to each other they will compete for sunlight, water and nutrition. Therefore make sure you space them right appropriately.

– Soak your seeds for at least 24 hours in water before you plant them. You can use an empty toilet paper roll as a biodegradable self-starter.

– Make sure to buy quality seeds that have not expired. Follow the instructions on the packet which will show how deep the seeds needs to be planted and how far apart.  They will also tell you how often they need to be watered and how much sunlight they need.

Compost

Once the seeds are in the ground does not mean the job is over and you can sit back and just watch them grow. You will want to pay attention to your soil to make sure it stays moist but not over-watered. Weeds should be removed as they come up and don’t forget fertilizing from time to time which will give the growing process a boost. A garden needs to be looked after on a regular basis if you want to reap what you sow.

This might seem like a lot of work, but in the end it is worth it.  You’ll be improving your health and therefore overall lifestyle by growing your own healthy and chemical-free vegetables. When you experience the sight of your first sprout popping up you will instantly understand the joy and excitement that comes with such an ancient practice.

Author Bio: Matt Reilly is an operations manager and home improvement writer currently working for Reilly Roofing and Gutters in Texas. He is a promoter of sustainable living, both on a large scale and through the use of eco-friendly technology in everyday life.

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3 Most Commonly Used Posts for Letterboxes

3 Most Commonly Used Posts for Letterboxes

Letterboxes are handy features for a home or business to have. Even in this increasingly digitized age, direct mail and marketing materials such as leaflets are still being sent out, so having a letterbox ensures that your private residence, office or commercial establishment receives and secures all the incoming mail.

There are different kinds of letterboxes that can be installed onto your property. For example, there are brick-in mailboxes that come in a sturdy die-cast aluminium construction; these can be built to stand right in front of your house or workplace. Freestanding letterboxes are also an option.

These are made with different materials such as timber panels, greystone, or galvanized steel and come with their own mounting base and fixings for quick and easy installation. There’s also the option of having the letterbox mounted onto a fence or wall so that it can be seamlessly incorporated into the home or building’s structure, often prominently by the main entrance.

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A Popular Presence

While all of these variations of the letterbox provide a simple and effective mail-receiving solution (not to mention a stylish element to a property’s facade), there’s no question that letterboxes mounted on posts add a more charming accent to any outdoor space, which is why such letterboxes remain a favourite among countless Australians. For post-mounted letterboxes to be optimally functional, they need to be paired with compatible, durable and well-designed posts. Here are three of the most commonly used posts for letterboxes:

Standard Post

A standard post is typically made of galvanized steel, with a height of 1200mm and diameter of 38mm. To install a standard post, manufacturers recommend digging a hole that is roughly 30cm deep and 25cm wide. Concrete must be mixed up and poured into the created hole so that the concrete is roughly 10cm deep. The mounted letterbox must then be placed on top of this layer and the remaining hole filled with concrete (only about 20cm of the post must be in the concrete).

To follow Australia post recommendations, the letterbox should ideally face the footpath and be located within the property’s boundary line. Make sure the mail slot is between 90cm and 120cm from the ground.

 

 

Standard Post With Numbers

A standard post with a number plate is an excellent provision for holding your mail while also displaying your house number or address for the easy identification. Because such posts are constructed from galvanised steel and powder-coated for maximum rust protection, property owners can expect a long lifespan from this product. They also come in different colours to complement the property.

 

Wall Mount Post

As an alternative to installing a letterbox on a post into the ground, you could also choose a wall mounting post that can be easily attached to timber or brick walls or fences. This type of letterbox post is an ideal feature for driveways because it won’t take up space on the ground.

Your letterbox has to be sturdy, eye-catching, and securely installed onto your property, so make sure that you choose the best kind of post that can achieve this result.

About the Author:

Kenneth Lawrence’s craft involves DIY concepts. Also, he values the importance of getting expert help whenever necessary. He visits sites like http://www.sandleford.com.au and shares guidelines and tips about home improvement.

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Your Guide To Top Dressing Your Lawn

Your Guide To Top Dressing Your Lawn

A beautiful garden helps to improve the overall look and feel of any home, and the lawn is just as important. There’s no point having beautiful blooming flowers if the grass is unkempt, overgrown or dead.

Sometimes, you might find that your lawn needs work, but this can be difficult once the grass has begun to grow. Problems with your soil could include depletion of nutrients, bare spots, compacted soil, uneven patches or low spots. All of this results in your lawn, quite simply, not looking as good as it could. As you head into summer, with BBQ’s and summer parties right around the corner, it’s important for your lawn to be looking its best.

If you think your lawn could do with some work, there is a solution! Top dressing is a commonly used solution to fix this problem when the grass has already grown. Read on to find out more about top dressing your lawn and if it’s right for you.

Why Is Top Dressing Useful?

Using top soil dressing works over time, gradually improving your soil. There are many benefits to using top dressing, which includes:

  • Improving drainage
  • Improving drought-resistance
  • Helping to even out the terrain
  • Helping to make your lawn into low-maintenance
  • Improving the health of your lawn
  • Reducing the need for supplemental fertilizers
  • Increasing nutrient retention
  • Increasing disease and pest resistance

Top soil is usually made from organic material that is high in nutrients. This can include amounts of clay, sand and silt.

 

When Should You Do It?

First off, there are only two reasons why you would need to top dress your soil. Firstly, this is if your lawn is uneven or there are indentations on the surface, and secondly, if you are looking to add nutrients to the soil as part of a lawn care regime. If you are not doing either of these two things, top dressing isn’t required. If done incorrectly or when not required, it could, in fact damage your lawn.

There are two ways to top dress your lawn. You can either do small patches are you find them, or do it all at once.

However, regardless of how you choose to do it, you want to do this during the growing season, and the earlier the better. You want to be doing it when you’re most frequently mowing your lawn (when you mow about once a week). Do not top dress when the lawn is in its dormant phase, or you run the risk of damaging or killing the lawn completely.

You should avoid top dressing if rain is forecast, as this can make the dressing difficult to deal with.

It is also recommended that a week or two prior to top dressing your lawn that you apply fertilizer to your lawn. This will help to assist with the lawns growth and help the turf to push through the top dressing quicker and easier.

Also remember to water your lawn once you have finished applying the top dressing. This will help to give the lawn a boost. Make sure to continue to regularly water in the coming weeks as well.

How Often Should You Do It?

You’ll only really be top dressing when you see a problem, so it doesn’t need to become something you do every year. It is usually done to correct poor preparation and a lack of soil underneath the grass, or to help fill in low spots or uneven patches. If you find you have trouble spots that keep reoccurring, these might need repeat applications. Make sure to not go overboard; you’re adding soil, so this can raise your grade and affect soil ecology.

There was once a myth that top dressing should be done every Spring, however if your lawn has no problems you won’t have to do so at all.  If you decide that you want to improve the surface of your lawn or add nutrients, you’ll want to be sure to follow the advice above for the best results possible!

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How To Not Ruin Your Lawn

How To Not Ruin Your Lawn

One of the first things that friends and relatives notice when they visit your home is your front lawn. It stands to reason then that it should be one of your highest priorities when it comes to maintaining your yard. The problem is that many people are doing more harm than good to their lawns, ruining their hard work and giving those important visitors a poor first impression of their home.

So in this article, I am going to take a look at what you absolutely should not do if you want your lawn to look its best.

Don’t Over-Water

Believe it or not, it is possible to over-water your grass. Too much water will wash away any fertilizer you have used, and also makes the grass more susceptible to diseases. Instead of watering your lawn each day for a short amount of time, you should water it once a week till it gets a good soaking. Lawns that are watered daily only develop a shallow root system. This leads to them being very water dependent and can cause your grass to die off much quicker in a dry period.

 

Don’t Skip Your Mowing

We all have those days where we just can’t be bothered doing the mowing; surely it can go another week….right? Wrong! Leaving your lawn to grow too long between mowing will mean your grass grows tall and sparse, instead of thick and dense. The blades of grass that shoot up the quickest will end up blocking the sun over the shorter grass which leads to an uneven lawn. Be sure to mow regularly with a good quality mower with sharp blades to give your lawns a nice even look.

Don’t Bag Your Grass Clippings

While I am on the topic of mowing, let’s talk about what to do with your grass clippings. The simple answer is nothing; get yourself a mower with mulching capabilities so that the cut grass is laid back onto your lawn as fertilizer. Clippings can also help the soil below retain moisture during dry spells. A good mulching mower will leave almost no sign of the clippings at all.

Don’t Over-Fertilize

Over-fertilizing is quite a common problem, throwing too much fertilizer on your lawn can have a devastating effect. It results in the grass becoming severely dehydrated, and it almost looks like it has been burnt – hence why they call this effect “burning the lawn”. Be sure to read the instructions on the fertilizer packaging and follow it precisely. It is also just as important to make sure you buy a type of fertilizer that is suitable for your grass – which leads me into the next point:

Don’t Assume All Grass Is The Same

Did you know there are over 18 types of grass commonly used on lawns throughout the USA? Each variety of grass can require drastically different care to thrive. Some of the differences in care between grass species are cut heights, watering frequency, and fertilizer type. So it crucial to know what type is growing in your yard and adapt your watering, mowing and fertilizing routines to suit. If you don’t know what type of lawn you have, take a sample down to your local garden center and get them to identify it. They will also be able to tell you more about how to care for your particular type of grass.

Of course, these tips are not going to make you a lawn care expert, but they will get you moving in the right direction. Watering, fertilizing and mowing are all critical aspects of caring for your grass and should not be neglected. Lawn care can be quite addictive, and when you get home from work one day and see what your hard work has produced, I think you will find that learning just a little bit about how to care for your lawns was more than worthwhile.

Bio: Aaron Green is a full time father of two who spends his spare time in the garden and around the house. Being responsible for two young children leaves him little time to pursue hobbies, but he loves to share his knowledge with others when he can. You can find more of Aaron’s work at: www.essentialhomeandgarden.com

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