Tag Archives: outside

How To Ace Winter At Home

Standard
How To Ace Winter At Home

Winter varies from place to place but unless you’re somewhere on the equator the likelihood is that it’s going to be cold. Sure, some places are worse than others and will need better home preparation but, in most cases, there’s usually a few things needing to be done to ensure the home is a functioning and comfortable place to be during the winter months. Some people love winter. The coziness of it is what attracts people, and Christmas, of course. Others hate it. They don’t do well with the darkness and cold, and that’s fine. Either or, here are some tips to help you succeed over the winter months:

Get your energy solutions sorted:

Energy prices fluctuate year in and out which is why you need to change your provider often. If you want a good winter, you don’t want to pay too much money for your energy, so make sure you consider changing providers. You might also want to look at your insulation. Of course, a heating and cooling company can check this out for you. If you know you don’t have any it could be a worthy investment which could save you a lot of money on energy. In the same vein, you’ll want to get your boiler and other burning devices serviced so that you know they’re safe to operate.

Clean the gutters:

Winter usually brings rain and snow. This will increase water flow and really clog up your gutters, especially if you live somewhere close to trees. The leaves are usually the key culprits of gutter blockage. You can buy the tools for these on amazon but you might just be better off approaching someone to do it for you. If you do it yourself, make sure there’s someone under you holding the ladder so you don’t fall.

You might also need to clear the drains which the gutters run into. These can be more important because they’ll cause standing water issues around your home, small puddles might be manageable but when you get the bigger ones it’ll be a lot harder to handle in most cases. It’s just a case of lifting the lid with a gloved hand and pulling the leaves out.

Check the alarms:

You’ll be at home more often due to the winter weather and this is even more prevalent this year due to coronavirus. So make sure it’s safe. Check your smoke alarms first, then make sure you’ve got a working carbon monoxide alarm in place around any fossil burning appliance. Then you need to ensure the house alarm is working. If it isn’t, think about upgrading or at least making the current one work properly. If you can’t afford it don’t panic, just make sure your doors and locks are secure and be sure to check the windows too.

Get your home in tip top shape before the winter comes with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

How To Make Your Winter Garden Look Fantastic

Standard
How To Make Your Winter Garden Look Fantastic

America is in the midst of a gardening boom: one in three households grows food at home or in a co-op garden. Even millennials are joining in with gardening and the economic downturn doesn’t discourage people, either. Those with green thumbs are sure to dread the winter months. While your hard work is shining bright in the spring and summer, during the winter your pride and joy can sometimes be buried under a layer of frost and dead leaves. However, if you’re willing to change your perception a little, winter can actually be a great time for your garden. Here’s why, and a few tips on how to make your winter garden look fantastic:

Benefits of winter for your garden:

It turns out that gardens that experience winter may have some advantages over their warmer cousins. According to research from the University of Minnesota, many pests which are harmful to gardens hibernate when the weather gets cold. In addition, weeds grow more slowly and thanks to low light and less evaporation, plants often require less water in the winter. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Choose winter friendly veggies and crops:

Although you might have to give up on your tomatoes and most other fruiting crops during the winter months, there are many tasty and cold-hardy vegetables you can try to grow, instead. Top choices are Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, onions, and some types of spinach. Look for vegetables with leaves, stems, and roots, that mature more and more slowly as the weather cools and the days shorten. As an added bonus, some of these vegetables sweeten as the weather gets colder!

Making your garden look great:

There are many ways to brighten up a barren winter garden. Focal points such as an outdoor wall mounted fountain, a sculpture, or boulder can draw interest all year round. Water features such as ponds can look stunning in winter, becoming the center of attention in contrast to their plainer surroundings.

Thanks to the lack of weeds, winter-hardy plants, and the potential for dramatic winter views, winter gardening is a lot nicer than you might think. So grab your gloves and your shovel and join America’s gardening boom.