Category Archives: Lawn & Garden

A Don’t Forget November Checklist for your Home, Lawn & Garden

With shorter days and the the first real snowfall around the corner, it’s the right time to finish last-minute projects around the house before winter sets in.

INSIDE 

  1. CHECK VENTS:  Close vents in unheated basement area, but keep attic vents open.        Replace rusted or damaged pipes from gas water heaters and your dryer.
  2. ADJUST THERMOSTATS FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY. If you have multiple thermostats in    your home for different zones, set temperatures for the way you use the rooms: bedrooms     cooler, baths and sitting areas warmer.  PREVENT THE OVERLOAD OF ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS.Make certain electrical cords aren’t covered by rugs or heavy curtains; they can overheat and cause a fire.

Honeywell Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat

 

 

 

 

 

Outside

  1. CLEAR PATHWAYS AND STOOPS TO MAKE SNOW SHOVELING EASIER. Make sure there is ready access to your woodpile, gas and oil tanks, and garbage cans.
  2. CLEAN GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS. But wait until most of the leaves have dropped. You may want to invest in a gutter scoop.
  3. INSPECT SUPPORTS, RAILINGS, AND STAIRS. A flimsy handrail might give way when someone slipping on ice or snow grabs it suddenly. Check that footings under support posts are secure and haven’t shifted due to water infiltration, settling, or frost.
  4. Take winter linens out of storage and launder. Dry clean garments packed in mothballs to remove the camphor odor. Toss out herbal repellants, as they lose their potency over time.

Your garden’s not ready to snooze just yet

Bulbs

If you haven’t put them in the ground already, hop to it. This is actually a great time to get bulbs, because they’re often 50% off or more as companies move their stock out. Use a bulb planter to speed the process (remember to sprinkle some bulb food in the bottom of the hole) and go to town across the garden. Bulbs look best in massed plantings, so think about that as you plan things out.

Be aware that some bulbs, like daffodils and iris, aren’t very interesting to gophers, and can in fact make a great protective ring around tender plants like young apple trees. Others, such as tulips, are a gopher’s delight, and need to be planted in cages and containers or you won’t see them come spring.

Clean Up Beds and Borders

All those dead plants? Yeah, it’s really time to make those go away now. Trim away dead foliage, uproot weeds, compost the leavings, and cultivate the beds to leave them smooth and even for next year. You can work in some mulch and compost to condition the soil, if you like. In mild climates, try planting overwintering flowers and crops, like mums and kale. In cooler reaches, well, all that ugly soil will be covered by snow soon!

Drain and Insulate Hoses, Standpipes, and Other Fixtures

With frost comes broken pipes, unless you act ahead of time. Drain all your outdoor water fixtures and cut their water supply so they won’t fill up. Put hoses in storage, and insulate your standpipes to prevent cracking and ice damage in the winter. When your neighbors are tearing their hair out and calling an emergency plumber over broken pipes, you can continue lounging in front of the heater.

Leaf Management

Still have a leaf problem? Not surprising — many trees are just starting to turn across the country. Set aside 30 minutes or so each week for leaf control.

Black & Decker LeafHog 12 Amp High Performance 240 mph Blower/Vacuum LH4500

 

For the Birds

Make sure your bird feeders are full for your avian visitors. They’ll appreciate seeds and suet during the cold winter months. Don’t be surprised if you see squirrels as well, looking for things to snack on. If you start noticing mice and rats, consider hiring a cat — but in the short term, you’ll want to try elevating the bird feeder and installing a tray to catch fallen seeds so they don’t end up on the ground.

Have fun working on your Checklist and when you are taking a break enjoy a Hot Beverage.

DIY Hanging Mason Jar Lights

While entertaining alfresco this season, these simple floating jar votives suspended from garden hooks make for that perfect final patio touch, offering an inviting, soft glow that keeps the gathering going long into the evening.
For this project we picked from a handful of mismatched empty mason jars that have stacked up around the house. The varied sizes lend to that overall rustic appeal. We love how they can easily be transferred indoors or out, depending on where you’re entertaining. Use them for a summer party, upcoming wedding or a respite with the family over a glass of wine.

1. Separate the bands from the lids and drill equidistant holes near the base of each band (we used a 7/64-inch bit).


2. Using wire cutters, snip 8-inch long strips from clock chain and attach through the holes in the jar bands using pliers, to create hanging handles. We used #5 sized clock chain, because it’s sturdy for holding the weight of the jars while still giving off a delicate feel. We found it at our local hardware store in the same aisle as regular chain and jack chain, which could just as easily be used for this project.

3. Twist bands around the jar mouths to secure, creating a hanging mason jar.


4. Fill jars about halfway with water, drop tea lights inside to float and light to create an instantly glowing group of mason jar votives. Cluster and use them just like this for an inviting indoor or outdoor centerpiece.


5. Suspend jars from garden hooks secured along a fence as hanging lanterns.

What you will Need

http://www.ruralking.com/ball-1-2-pint-8-oz-regular-mouth-mason-canning-jars-12-pack-60000.html

Ball, 1/2 Pint (8 oz), Regular Mouth, Mason Canning Jars, 12-Pack 60000

SKU: 001280052

http://www.ruralking.com/dare-wire-cutters-2290.html

Dare Wire Cutters 2290

SKU: 070040168

http://www.ruralking.com/candle-lite-tealight-50-ct-white-1261595.html

Candle-Lite Tealight 50 ct. White 1261595

SKU: 014047001

http://www.ruralking.com/18v-vsr-drill-kit.html

Genesis 18V Cordless Drill/Driver Kit GCD18BK

SKU: 093140502

Modernized Pumpkin Carving!

Spice up your pumpkin carving skills with a drill.  You don’t have to worry about handling carving knives. You can just use different sizes of drill bits for all sorts of designs.  You won’t have to be limited to the standard jack-o-lantern face. Make your magical fall nights twinkle.  It is a very simple process.

First you need your pumpkins. You can buy these at your local Rural King.

pumpkin

Secondly, you would need to carve a large circular opening into the bottom of your pumpkin. Clean out the inside thoroughly, scooping away the pulp and seeds with a spoon.

pumpkin-carving-image-3

Next, make a rough design on paper first, then mark the dots on the pumpkin with a permanent marker (which can be found at your local Rural King or RuralKing.com) Try a swirling or geometric design, or randomly space dots on the pumpkin shell.

02-lighted-pumpkin

You would then need to drill holes using a drill. You can use difference size drill bits for different sizes of holes. Rural King sells several different types of drills.  This would be a great excuses for revamping your tool collection. Check out all the drills Rural King has to offer by clicking here. :)

The last step required is just to fill the pumpkin with some type of lights. You can use candles or even get an extra use out of your old Christmas string lights.

Once you have your pumpkin all set up, just put it out for the world to see just how creative you are.

 0101_pumpkinsnight_xl tinkerbell-pumpkin-1 lighted-pumpkin-x IMG_1878 downloaddraft_lens21317866module168811113photo_291993fc2878808a9e034

Cozy on up to Fall

..School is starting..
..Football Season is approaching..
..Bonfires and cool nights..

All of these things mean that colder weather is creeping up on us. My favorite things about colder weather are bonfires and hoodies.  Rural King sells different kinds of fire pits and items to keep cozy.  Stop by your local Rural King or RuralKing.com to stock up on these absolutely necessary fall items.

Culvert 36″ Fire Ring 55160

culvert_fire_ring_1

Coghlan’s Magnesium Fire Starter 7870

7870

Well Traveled Living 28” Bon Fire Patio Fireplace 01471

01471_main

5.11 Tactical Lock Up Fleece 42182AG

42182ag-016_hoodie_lockup_mr

Rigid Industries Women’s Hoodie 020W

rigid_industries_women_s_hoodie_020w_2

Oh and to be on the safe side… It is always handy to have a fire extinguisher. Rural King sells different brands with different sizes. Take a look for yourself! (Rural King Fire Extinguishers)

003530030

So come on down to Rural King to cozy on up to Fall! :)

 

 

Build Your Own Martin House

Purple martins are swallows that migrate from South America to North America each year to breed. Many people enjoy listening to their songs, watching their aerial acrobatics and seeing fledglings emerge from their nests. Although purple martins don’t eat mosquitoes, they eat large numbers of many other kinds of insects. For these reasons, many people build martin houses in the hope that the birds will build nests in them.

1 Site your martin house properly. Purple martins won’t nest in houses too near the ground or too near homes or tall trees. Martin houses should be a minimum of 40 feet (12 meters) from homes and trees and 20 feet (6 meters) high.

2 Design your martin house for several nesting pairs. It should have nesting compartments that are completely separated from one another, access holes for the birds, porches to perch on and a gabled roof. Some houses have multiple levels to accommodate more birds.

3 Cut the wood for the floor so it will extend past the exterior walls 3 inches (7.5 cm) on all sides. This creates the porches. You can also attach porches using 3-inch strips of wood.

4 Create several nesting compartments inside using partitions. Each space should be 6 inches (15 cm) tall, 6 inches wide and 6 inches deep.

5 Cut semicircular entrance holes. These should be 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter and 1-3/16 inches (3 cm) tall for each compartment. Set the bottom of the hole flush with the porch to discourage starlings and owls from using the martin house.

6 Drill small holes in the “attic” portion of the house to encourage air flow. Cut a thick piece of polystyrene or corrugated cardboard to fit inside the attic so the house won’t get too hot.

7 Build the roof. Make sure it extends past the exterior walls enough to help shield the access holes from rain and give the birds some shade.

8 Assemble the martin house. Keep in mind that you will want to occasionally disassemble it to clean out the nesting compartments. If you use a router to create slots in the partitions, the floors and in the exterior walls, you will be able to slide them together for a tight fit without permanently attaching them with screws or brads.

9 Paint the house white. Never paint or stain it dark colors, although you can paint the trim another light color if desired.

10 Mount the house on a metal pole that has been set in concrete. You may want to add a winch and pulley system that will allow you to raise and lower the house easily so you can check on nestlings or clean the compartments.

S & K Purple Martin House – 10 Family FH10

SKU: 033570112

Heath Purple Martin House Telescoping Pole MP 15

SKU: 050510058