Category Archive: Garden Tips

Pool Safety for New Pool Owners


Being a new pool owner is an exciting time. Also, after all the initial work of having the pool installed and filled, it can feel like a great time to simply take a rest and start enjoying the pool. However, have you considered important pool safety issues?

As fun and exciting as owning a pool is, it is also a hugely important responsibility. Pool safety is everyone’s safety. You are not the only one affected by the safety or lack thereof of your pool: your family, friends, and neighbors also deserve the safest environment you can give them.

There are several factors to consider when it comes to pool safety. Essentially, they can be divided into two large categories: the pool water and the pool environment. Let’s look at each of these in turn.

The Pool Water

Keeping the pool water safe is often easier than keeping the pool environment safe, but is just as important. Bacterial, viral, and fungal infections ranging from mildly inconvenient to life-threatening can all result from not keeping a clean, well-treated pool.

When your pool was installed, you should have received information about how to properly fill, treat, and drain your pool. Be sure to adhere to these instructions, and to learn them well. Test your pool chemistry regularly.

If there are any irregularities in pool chemistry, be sure to stop use of the pool immediately. Treat the water and make sure everything is back to normal before starting to use the pool again.

Information about how best to treat your pool, as well as safe levels of various chemicals, can be found with groups such as the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group.

The Pool Environment

Once you have ensured your pool water is safe, it’s time to check the safety of your pool environment. You need to make sure that the pool is supervised whenever it’s in use and secured whenever it’s not in use.

To supervise the pool, be sure that there are adults present whenever children are in the pool. Also, encourage children to use the buddy system whenever swimming.

Avoid alcoholic beverages when supervising or using the pool, and be sure your guests or family members do the same. Also, it’s a good idea to undergo basic lifeguard training, or at the very least to ensure that you are a very strong swimmer.

When it comes to securing the pool, a pool fence is a deeply important necessity. Pool fences may be purchased and installed from a variety of local and national companies, such as Pool Guard USA.

In addition to fencing, you may also consider important additional safety features like a pool alarm system. During the off-season, it is also important to use a safety pool cover instead of a traditional pool cover, especially when there are children and/or pets in your home or in the neighborhood.

If you follow all of these tips and are sure to check local laws and regulations, you’ll be sure to enjoy your pool in safety for years to come.

Steve Volk

Electric bug zapper buying guide


Electric bug zappers are some of the best home innovations. These lawn and garden products provide an insect-free night, not to mention that they can be used inside as well. If you are like most people, then you most likely do not enjoy being around irritating insects. What you have to understand is that an insect control system will prevent critter from ever getting near you again. Unquestionably, such a device can significantly improve your environment, but you should know that choosing one is a daunting task. Since the bug zapper is an investment, you have to choose carefully. What you have to do is visit a site like and read the reviews to see which one suits your needs. Equally important is to follow these steps.

Decide between indoor and outdoor use

Broadly speaking, there are two main types of electric bug zappers: those that can be used indoors and those that can be used outdoors. Although the vast majority of manufacturers make insect repellents that can be used indoor and outdoor alike, you will find devices specifically designed for one use. Therefore, you have to determine which type is most appropriate. It is important to highlight that you cannot use an indoor insect control system outside because it is not strong enough. The same goes for outdoor big zappers. They do not provide optimal results when used inside the home.

Look through the different types of insect killers

The matter of fact is that there are different types of electric insect killers on the market, which is the reason why making a choice is quite difficult. While it is true that insect protection has come a long way, not all products are capable of providing optimal results. When analyzing the different options, you have to take into consideration a few factors. The question is, however, what should you be looking for in an insect killer? It is important to consider the coverage area as the gadgets are designed to cover a specific surface. Think about power consumption too; you do not want to pay extra on electricity bills. Last but not least, do not forget about the cost factor. Different brands have different prices and it is advisable to avoid devices that are too cheap.

Is the bug zapper effective for eliminating mosquitos?

Contrary to popular opinion, mosquitos are not really drawn to such machines. This does not mean that a big zapper is not capable of killing mosquitos, just that some devices are more effective than others. Even though they are not typically attracted by the ultraviolet light, they will get curious and make the mistake of getting too close. What happens is that the electricity deprives them of their existence.

To conclude, you should never purchase an electric bug zapper without knowing all the details. Read consumer reviews to get an idea of the effectiveness of the product and ask for additional details. The last thing you should do is buy the first insect repellent that you find.

Steve Volk

How to choose the perfect garden room


A garden room is seen as the perfect escape when you have a house full with people, and you want to get away to a relaxing space, and enjoy some quiet moments. Also, a garden room is one of the most valuable additions to any home, because it allows you to spend time in the nature no matter of the weather outside. And in modern times on the market you can find a huge variety of shapes and styles, so it does not matter what your requirements are, the garden that you choose would be exactly what you want. Glass garden rooms can dramatically enhance the feel or look of your property, but how do you want this addition to look? Have you thought at this aspect? Well if not here are some questions that would help you choose easier the design of your garden room.

What a glass garden room is?

A garden room was initially designed as a conservatory, from the British population’s need to stay as much time as possible in the nature, and admire their beautiful gardens. If in the past, it was used for growing citrus plants, now it is designed as a useable space for living in. If you have started looking for garden rooms, you already know what you might like to find. There are endless options when it comes to these spaces, because different providers bring different combinations of décor on the market. It is your task to find a model that would look great in your garden, no matter if it features a traditional, modern or in between design.

What shape would you like to feature?

This is the first thing you have to think of when you start looking for conservatories. The shape and size of the garden room have to be chosen according to the features of the garden. In case you have a bungalow, it is advisable to opt for a lean-to garden room. If you are a fan of high ceilings and plenty of floor space, then you should choose an Edwardian model. It is important to know what models are available on the market, and according to the space where you want to install it, to choose the shape and size that suits you better.

What your budget is?

When it comes to installing a garden room on your property you have to be sure that you opt for an affordable model which does not require you to break the bank. This does not mean that you have to make any compromises, because if you have a large space, it is advisable to save more funds and buy it when you have enough money for your dream garden room. If you have a mid-range budget then you should consider investing in a bespoke glass garden room, because in this way the provider would work with the sum you have and would offer you the best result. Talk with experts before deciding upon a certain model.

Steve Volk

How to Choose a Quality Infrared Heater for Your Patio

To be able to use your outdoor space even when the weather starts to get cold, you have to invest in a quality infrared heater for the patio. This way, the chilly weather won’t affect you as much as it did, and you will be able to enjoy sitting on your porch for two or three more months than you would normally do this. When it comes to the top-rated electric heaters, the infrared units are the most popular ones.

Read the following lines to find out what makes a quality infrared heater and how to choose an appropriate one for your patio, prolonging the time you can spend in the extension to your house that is the patio.

Styles you can choose from

The most common types of infrared heaters that you can choose from are standalone, tabletop, or mountable.

The standalone type of infrared heater is the most common type of outdoor heater, being generally tall, which makes it ideal for decks and patios.

The tabletop models can be used for patios as well, but they aren’t the best choice, because there are certain safety concerns to take in consideration with them. A person who isn’t paying attention could accidentally hit the infrared heater, and might damage it or even hurt themselves.

Last but not least, the mountable infrared heaters are perfect for patios not only because they send the heat directly on you, but they save a lot of space and they look very stylish as well.

How to choose the appropriate power

The power of the heater and the number of heaters necessary to provide heat to the patio should be decided by taking the size of the patio itself in consideration. Instead of buying one powerful unit, to add style to your patio, go with two powerful infrared heaters which you will mount in front of each other on opposing sides, this way ensuring that there won’t be problems with the heating, that you won’t take up any space, and that no one can harm themselves by bumping into them.

Features to take in consideration

As with any modern device or appliance, infrared heaters have many features which make them more tempting to buy, and after all, you can’t say you have a quality infrared heater without it having a useful extra feature at least.

The top-rated electric heaters feature electronic controls which make it easier for you to adjust the heat of the heater, the automatic shutoff that practically turns the heater off if it gets too hot to prevent any unpleasant incidents, and the tilt-over protection for standalone and tabletop units to ensure that when the unit gets accidentally knocked over it automatically turns off the heating element.

Steve Volk

Best Lawn Mowers Under $500

A healthy and beautiful yard should be maintained almost regularly and you can take care of it and keep it neat and clean by using a lawn mower. Finding the right lawnmower for your type of yard is not hard; the hardest thing to do is to actually find the right lawnmower that matches your budget plans. Although an automatic lawn mower sounds great due to the comfort it offers, such a device costs a lot of money and it’s not an option for those who are not willing to spend a fortune on lawn maintenance.
To help each of you choose the best lawnmower for your needs, we’ve narrowed the choice down to the best lawnmowers of the moment that cost under $500, just to prove that performance doesn’t necessarily have to come at a high cost.

GreenWorks 25022 – $229.99

At just under $300, the Green Works 25022 is an electric lawn mower that is both energy efficient and extremely functional. This particular model can handle grass even when it’s wet and hard to trim, and the lever is easy to use so you will have no problem maneuvering this device. The fact that it needs to be pushed in order to mow the lawn can be a drawback, especially for people who have back pains but you should know that this compact electric lawn mower has some powered cutting so it won’t require a lot of effort on your part. Furthermore, the large read wheels make it easy to control even through uneven terrains. However, this machine is more useful on even terrain because it’s lightweight so avoid using it too often on a terrain with obstacles. Moreover, it has a short cable, so it’s not the perfect choice for a large lawn either.

Husqvarna 5521P – $249.95

The main difference between the GreenWorks model and the Husqvarna 5521P is the fact that the latter operates on gas, so it’s less energy efficient and it releases more pollution into the air. However, the 140cc Briggs & Stratton four-cycle motor does a very good job at controlling the blade. We like that you have many possibilities when it comes to adjusting the height of the blades, which is independent at each wheel. According to customer reports, the Husqvarna gas-powered lawn mower doesn’t cope very well with wet or very thick grass and in order to get good results you need to put a little more effort when mowing the lawn.

Black & Decker SPCM1936 – $349.00

The Black & Decker SPCM1936 is more expensive than the other two mowers but this is only because it comes with many convenient features. According to numerous customer reviews, it is one of the best lawnmowers ever made. For starters, because it’s a cordless unit, it’s easy to control and you can use it for both small and big spaces, so this is definitely a great advantage. Furthermore, it has a variable-speed propulsion that allows you to cut grass at your own pace. This model is not only easy to maneuver but also extremely easy to power on, because all you have to do to make it work is to press a button. What’s important to mention here is the fact that because it doesn’t come with a gas tank is more compact and thus easier to store when the winter comes.

Steve Volk

How to Choose a Garage Door which Complements Your House’s Design

When you built and decorate your house, you should also pay attention to the exterior because it’s what makes the first impression. Choosing matching items is the key to an even appearance, so pay attention to the details when you select your garage door because it has to complement your house’s design. In this article, you will find everything you need to know about choosing a garage door that works great with the design of your house.

Determine the house’s style

The first aspect you will have to take into account when choosing a garage door is the style of your house, so you will know the array in which you will have to look for. If your house is designed in the Victorian or Georgian style, you should absolutely not choose an aluminum or a fiberglass garage door because it will look cheap and kitsch. Instead, opt for a wooden door decorated with small windows and iron handles. If the house has a ranch style, also go for a wooden garage door but with a more simple design and with no details on it. The modern house design is the easiest to match and you can opt for almost any type of garage door material and finish.

Decide on the material

The material of the garage door is very important and is what makes it blend or not into the design of your home. A white trim and a white door create a very old-fashioned design that barely complements any house facade, so you might want to go over the edge and invest in a quality wood or aluminum garage door. The most common type of wood is cedar, but if you are willing to spend more money, you can even get mahogany to match a sumptuous and elegant house. There is also the fiberglass option that is very durable and offers a wide range of styles or the steel one that comes in a variety of colors and finishes.

Choose the right color

It’s very important that you opt for the right color for the garage door because an inappropriate shade will completely ruin the overall aspect of the house. You may think that the garage door should stand out n the picture, but actually, it should complement your house and create an even aspect. Avoid using strong colors and extreme contrasts that make the garage door seem like it was installed there by accident. The most appropriate colors are the neutral ones that match any house facade and woodwork, like black, gray, brown, beige, and white.

Make it practical

Garage doors should be not only visually pleasing, but also practical, so you should also buy a modern garage door opener. In order to find the best one, we advise you to visit the site and read some garage door opener reviews and comparisons. There are several products to choose from and reviews can help narrow down your choices.

Steve Volk

The Pros and Cons of Using an Automatic Pool Cleaner

There aren’t many pool owners who enjoy having to spend their time cleaning every corner of the pool, because it’s a very annoying and time consuming chore which will make you tired from the effort that went in doing it.
Most pool owners would rather enjoy their time by sitting in the pool instead of cleaning it thoroughly, this being the reason why automatic pool cleaners have gained a lot of popularity. With this kind of pool cleaning device you get to enjoy more free time, and there isn’t much effort from your part put in actually cleaning the pool, making them the ideal tool for any pool owner.
There are three types of automatic pool cleaners from which you can choose, the suction pool cleaner, the robotic pool cleaner also known as the pool vacuum robot, and the pressure pool cleaner, and before rushing to the store to buy one of them, it’s better to first inform yourself on the pros and cons of these devices, and take a decision after you put in balance their strong points and their flaws.

Automatic pool cleaner pros

The main pros of suction pool cleaners are that they clean very well due to the fact that they easily pick up small particles like dirt and sand, they scrub the walls of the pool efficiently, and they are generally the least expensive automatic pool cleaners available.
The advantages of robotic pool cleaners are that they can thoroughly clean your pool of small and large debris. Moreover, a pool vacuum robot will circulate the pool water better, it will learn new and shorter paths to cleaning your pool on its own, it will scrub the floor and the walls of the pool very well, and some models can even be guided with a remote control by you if you want to take control of them.
The pros of pressure pool cleaners are that they don’t really require much cleaning because all the debris goes in the attached bag they come with, they are capable of cleaning up large debris, they are very durable, and they are extremely low maintenance.

Automatic pool cleaner cons

When it comes to cons, suction pool cleaners don’t really work well on large floating debris, and due to the fact that they send the dirt into the pool’s filter, you have to clean the pump a lot more often by using them.
Robotic pool cleaners have the disadvantages of being limited by the length of their cords, they are the most expensive types of automatic pool cleaners, and they require frequent cleaning.
The cons of pressure pool cleaners are that they aren’t capable of scrubbing the walls of the pool, and they aren’t good at picking up small or fine particles of dirt from the water.

Steve Volk

Top Features To Look For When Buying A Snow Blower

People who live in areas where snowfall is an unavoidable occurrence during winter always have a hard time with clearing paths for themselves and for their cars.
In these modern times, where there are many tools that ease our work considerably, it’s a shame to spend your free time shoveling snow, or even having to wake up hours before you have to leave to work in order to be able to clear a path for the car in time. In addition, the tiring and time consuming chore of shoveling the snow does considerable damage to your back as well, therefore it’s better to find a different method of clearing the annoying snow.
Definitely the best method to clear the snow is by using a snow blower, and due to the fact that it’s a large investment, you should go for a model that has all the top features to make your job even easier.


Having a snow blower that gives you the ability to choose the speed as you like is very important, because it ensures you will have enhanced control, and by allowing you to do this you can set the speed to accommodate the type of snow that you are dealing with, preventing the device from getting clogged.
The finest snowblowers even offer you seven different speeds to choose from, but the truth is that you most probably will use only two or three of them.

Clearing width

The clearing width is one of the most important features of a snow thrower, one you must pay attention to when you choose it, because the clearing width determines the number of passes necessary to get the job done.
You should decide on the appropriate size of the snow blower’s clearing width after taking in consideration the width of your driveway, the clearing widths of these devices varying from less than 12 inches to as much as 45 inches.

Direction and height adjustment

It’s important to have a snow thrower which allows you to adjust the direction and the height at which the snow is being thrown, having more flexibility by owning a model with this feature.
Don’t forget to test these controls before you buy the model if it’s possible, to see for yourself how easily you can handle them and if they are appropriate for your needs.

Heated handle grips

While this might not seem as one of the most important features to look for, if you live in an area where the winter is very harsh, you won’t be able to see how you could have finished clearing the driveway without it. The finest snowblowers include many convenience features, including heated handles. Heathed handle grips make it a lot easier to clear snow for a longer time, and they make the experience more comfortable for you.


Seeing how in winter it gets dark a lot earlier than in the other seasons, it’s important to look for a model that has headlights. This way, you will be able to clear the annoying snow even when the dark settles, coming especially in handy for those who work until late hours and don’t have the time to deal with the snow when there’s light outside.

Dead man controls

This is a mandatory feature if you want to have a truly good snow blower, and it’s included with most of the modern models.With this amazing feature, the snow blower’s impeller and auger stop working once the handlebar mechanism grip is released, and due to its important nature, you should avoid buying a model that doesn’t come with it.

Steve Volk

How to Grow Your Own Food Even When You Have Limited Space

Even if you don’t have a large space you can still grow food. With a bit of creativity, patience and the right tools, you will be able to obtain the desired result. For some inspiration, here is how to grow your own food even when you have limited space.

It is essential that you firstly get the basic kit

Before you actually start growing food, you must go shopping and get the basic kit. This includes the following items: plant pots, watering can, compost, tarpaulin mat, and labels. Depending on what you actually want to grow, you can get small, medium or large plant pots. Remember to get the ones that already have a hole in the bottom, so that the water can drain out. The terracotta ones are better than the plastic ones, although they can cost you more. The compost is very important if you want your food to grow beautifully and healthy. Look for an organic and peat free one, in order to obtain better results. A tarpaulin mat will be very useful in case you are short on space. You will be able to do your planting up on this mat, and then just scoop it up, avoiding this way to spread soil all over everything. Labels are very important as you will definitely need to remember what you have planted in each pot.

Remember to grow only food that can be grown in small spaces

This is a very important aspect. Obviously, not all foods can be grown in small spaces. You definitely can grow a large variety of herbs. You can also go for salad crops or a chilli plant. Potatoes, spring onions, carrots or cherry tomatoes are also great options. They are very easy to grow, and they do not require too much space. You can go to the specific shops and get the right seeds. If you have a small backyard you can grow your own food there or you could choose to grow it indoors in pots which you can place on a balcony. If you decide to grow food indoors, then you must get a led grow light in order to provide your vegetables and plants the necessary amount of light. These devices can be found in the specific shop in different sizes and they are reasonably priced.

Don’t forget about the planting season if you choose to grow foods outdoors

Some foods can be planted in the summer, whereas others can’t. You must know exactly what you want to plant and find all the information about each vegetable you want to grow. This is an essential aspect when it comes to growing food. If you decide to plant them randomly, then you will probably not obtain the desired result, and all the work will be just a waste of time.

Steve Volk

How to Choose a Gas Grill that You Will Actually Enjoy Using

Staying in the outdoors is extremely relaxing, especially when the weekend comes and you want to enjoy the fresh air and get to hang with your family or friends in your backyard, sharing a laugh and a drink.
A pleasant and fun outdoor activity from which you can benefit from as well is grilling, and with the appropriate gas grill at your disposal, you can enjoy a healthy and delicious meal, while getting to feel relaxed and happy during its preparation.

If you are the kind of person who likes to eat healthy, and you enjoy the company of friends when you have a barbecue, you should read the following lines to find out how you can choose a gas grill that you will enjoy using as often as you can.

Choose the appropriate cooking area

Grilling is a lot more fun if you get the whole food that you intend to cook on it done in a single grill, therefore you should think carefully about how much cooking space you need the gas grill to have to not find yourself having to spend hours next to the grill to get everything done. You can estimate the necessary size of the cooking area by thinking how many people usually gather around your table, and add to that number as a safety measure for when you have guests over.

Overall, it’s better to go with a bigger cooking area than you need for your household members only, because you will inevitably have friends or relatives over, especially when the holidays come or when there is a celebration, and by having a big cooking area you can enjoy spending your time with them instead of sitting next to the grill and not getting to participate in the discussions and activities that they unfold.

Features to look for

Any additional feature on a gas grill means a bigger price tag, but once you get to understand how you can benefit from these features and how much easier they make your life, you will surely want to invest in as many of them as you can. To accurately compare the features of the best gas grills, you can conduct some research on which specializes in comparing gas grills. When reading reviews, there are several features to look for. For your convenience, and to make the whole experience a more pleasurable one, you should look for a gas grill that has an electronic igniter, because it’s more easy to operate it and it’s generally more reliable than a push or rotary button starter.

A folding table or a side shelf is the perfect addition to any gas grill, making your life easier due to the fact that it provides an additional work space where you can prepare the food for grilling. Also, having a gas grill with cabinets and drawers is a must if you want to enjoy the whole experience, because you can store everything you need in them, not having to go back in the house to take different utensils from the kitchen when you need them.

Another great feature that can make preparing food with a gas grill a truly enjoyable experience is having led lit controls and a lit cooking area, allowing you to grill without a problem even when darkness settles.

Steve Volk