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2013

• CHOOSING THE BEST MOWER FOR YOUR YARD

INSIDE

A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO THE DAILY SUN NEWS & SUN NEWS SHOPPER • APRIL 16, 2013

DAILY SUN

NEWS ‘TODAY’S LOCAL NEWS TODAY’

home & garden

2 - Daily Sun News

april 16, 2013

Grow what you eat, cook what you grow (STATEPOINT) - Cooking from the garden is not like cooking from the store. There’s nothing more tasty, nutritious and satisfying than fresh, homemade meals made from the fruits, vegetables and herbs you grew yourself.  Experts say that even with modest amounts of time and space, you can grow an organic garden plot that feeds your family all year long. “The simplest methods of gardening work best,” says Barbara Damrosch, organic gardening expert and co–author of the new book, The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook, which serves as both a garden guide and a healthful cookbook. “There is very little you can’t accomplish in the garden if you trust the systems that are already in place.” Damrosch and co-author Eliot Coleman contend that organic vegetable gardening is not only healthful for you and your family, but is also good for the planet and can make a serious dent in your food expenses. They are offering these great tips to anyone looking to grow and cook their own food: • When choosing which plants to grow, consider how much space you have. Salad crops, for example, give you the most variety in a garden of limited size. Consider prioritizing crops whose flavor is most notably lacking in supermarket varieties, such as tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers and

melons. • It helps to get to know different plants on a family basis. Family groupings are very important in planning how to rotate the crops in your garden from year to year, and much of the techniques that work for one vegetable, apply equally well to its cousins. • Don’t let weeds get ahead of you. Once they’ve gained the upper hand, getting rid of them can seem almost impossible. The ideal time to control weeds is when they are tiny, right after they first appear. Take the extra time to plant in straight lines, which can help with weed control.    • Veteran gardeners tend to be supportive resources to newcomers. Let friends with green thumbs share their enthusiasm and expertise with you. Or get involved in an organic community garden, where there is no shortage of experienced gardeners to consult. • Pass up the modern habit of eating any crop, any time of year by letting your garden feed you. Fruits and vegetables that come from halfway around the world were often harvested far too early and can have a disappointing, bland taste. By planning meals from your garden, you’ll become a more creative, improvisational cook. Eating is one of the most important things we do, so don’t just settle for what the supermarket has to offer. Gardening can revolutionize the way you eat, and help you take greater control of your family’s nutrition.

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VanWingerden Landscaping ______3,10

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Daily Sun News - 3

Five easy steps to a low maintenance, eco-friendly landscape

Gardening expert Melinda Myers provides plan to transform your landscape It’s possible to create a beautiful landscape and be kind to the environment even with a busy schedule and while staying within budget. “All it takes is a bit of planning and a few low maintenance strategies,” says gardening expert and author Melinda Myers. Myers recommends these five strategies to create a low maintenance, eco-friendly landscape this season. Be Waterwise - save money on the water bill, time spent watering and this precious resource, water. Start by growing drought tolerant plants suited to your growing environment. Once established they will only need watering during extended dry spells. Mulch with shredded leaves, evergreen needles, woodchips or other organic matter to conserve moisture, reduce weeds and improve the soil as they decompose.   Fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer, like Milorganite, that promotes slow, steady growth instead of excessive greenery that requires more water. Plus, it won’t burn even during drought. Put rainwater to work all season long by using rain barrels to capture rainwater off your roof or directly from the sky. Recycle Yard Waste in the Landscape minimize the amount of yard waste produced,

Melinda Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and writes the twice monthly “Gardeners’ Questions” newspaper column. Myers also has a column in Gardening How-to magazine.

reuse what can be in other areas of the landscape and recycle the rest as compost. These are just a few strategies that will save time bagging, hauling and disposing of yard debris. And better yet, implementing this strategy will save money and time spent buying and transporting soil amendments, since it will be created right in the back yard. Start by leaving grass clippings on the lawn. The short clippings break down quickly, adding organic matter, nutrients and moisture to the soil. Grow trees suited to the growing conditions and available space. That means less pruning and fewer trimmings that will need to be managed. Make Compost at Home - recycle yard waste into compost. Put plant waste into a heap and let it rot. Yes, it really is that simple. The more effort put into the process, the quicker the results.  Do not add insect-infested or diseased plant

Recycling yard waste and turning it into compost, as shown here in a catch bin behind the tomato plants, is useful in producing lush, beautiful landscapes; and is cost effective, too.

photo courtesy of Melinda Myers, LLC

photo courtesy of Mark Avery

material or perennial weeds like quack grass, annual weeds gone to seed, or invasive plants. Most compost piles are not hot enough to kill these pests. And do not add meat, dairy or bones that can attract rodents. Manage Pests in Harmony with Nature - a healthy plant is the best defense against insects and disease. Select the most pest-resistant plants suited to the growing conditions and provide proper care. Check plants regularly throughout the growing season. It is easier to control a few insects than the hundreds that can develop in a week or two. And when problems arise, look for the most eco-friendly control. Start by removing small infestations by hand. Consider traps, barriers and natural products if further control is needed. And as always be sure to read and follow label directions carefully. Energy Wise Landscape Design - use landscape plantings to keep homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Homes will have a more comfortable temperature throughout the seasons and energy costs will be reduced. Plant trees on the east and west side of a house to shade windows in the summer and let the sun shine in and warm it up through the south-facing windows in winter.  Shade air conditioners, so they run more efficiently and be sure to collect and use any water they produce for container gardens. Incorporate these changes into gardening routines and habits over time. Soon these and many more strategies that help save time and money while being kind to the environment will seem to occur automatically. ‑ Nationally know gardening expert, TV and radio host, author and columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has writ‑ ten more than 20 gardening books. Her web site is at www.melindamyers.com

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4 - Daily Sun News

home & garden

april 16, 2013

Unique scheduling system puts residents in new homes faster by Jennie McGhan

More and more people are finding themselves in their new homes faster because of Lexar Homes’ expediency and attention to quality. Lower Yakima Valley residents may see the company’s signs posted on properties where new homes are popping up. The company, originally known as Hi-Line Homes of Yakima, has grown exponentially over the years. Its employees invest themselves in building quality homes for the company’s customers and are good at remembering the homes long after they have been built.

For example, a Zillah couple approached Ron Whitman, David Lewis and Cynthia Nystrom at the Central Washington Home & Garden Show last month. The couple wanted to talk to representatives of the company about their home, which was constructed in 2007. Whitman and Lewis, who have been with the company for a number of years, recalled the exact home the couple were living in. “It’s about them…the customer,” said Whitman, who serves as project manager for the company. He said Lexar Homes has been asked see “Unique” next page

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

David Lewis, Cynthia Nystrom and Ron Whitman of Lexar Homes (L-R) speak with a satisfied homeowner who stopped at the company’s booth at last month’s Central Washington Home & Garden Show in Yakima.

photo courtesy of Lexar Homes

With more than 40 floor plans to choose from, those seeking new home construction have many options available to them at Lexar Homes.

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home & garden

Daily Sun News - 5

continued from page 4

about the expediency of home construction. The homes built by Lexar Homes are traditional stick-built homes. There are no tricks or gimmicks. “The company has more than 40 floor plans that can be customized to meet the needs of the homeowner,” Whitman said. What is unique, he said, is the scheduling system and an ongoing relationship with subcontractors. “An electrician, for example, knows the exact date he needs to be ready,” said Whitman. Explaining, he said the company plans the exact schedule for every step of the construction process before construction begins. “With traditional construction schedules, an electrician may not know until a day before he is needed,” Whitman said. He said the process is reliable and systematic. “We keep our subcontractors busy,” said Whitman, noting the subcontractors are also on a continuous schedule with Lexar Homes. That relationship is also true for the company’s suppliers. “Although speed is not the goal…quality

photo courtesy of Lexar Homes

Homes like this one can be move-in ready in approximately three-months time due to Lexar Homes’ unique scheduling plans. and continuously maintaining our standards is what we strive for,” said Whitman. Lexar Homes builds homes throughout Central Washington, from Wenatchee to the Tri-Cities. Whitman said the name of the company changed as it expanded its ability to provide

The latest appliances, countertops and cabinetry designs are available in each home constructed by Lexar Homes.

custom services to customers. “But, we have always sought the same standards, treating every customer right,” he said. ‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com

Clif f’s photo courtesy of Lexar Homes

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Bathroom, kitchen remodels can pay big dividends later by Jennie McGhan

Homeowners should be smart when selecting the products to be used when renovating or constructing a bathroom and kitchen. That’s because the investments made now can vastly affect the value of a home. More and more people look to their bathrooms as a retreat from the stresses of the workday. For that reason, a bathroom remodel can yield as much as 62 percent returns when reselling a home. Kitchens, too, are highly valued because homebuyers want a place where they feel they can be creative. Scott Abel of Bath & Kitchen Showplace in Yakima, a division of Inland Pipe and Supply, says there are many quality products available to those who are seeking fixtures for the bathroom or kitchen. Bath & Kitchen Showplace is an authorized Kohler showroom,

featuring everything from shower heads to toilets. Kohler, he said, provides fixtures that are classic to contemporary and everything in between. “They have such a variety of products…they manufacture the hardware, the sinks, the toilets…everything that is needed,” said Abel. He said this year’s highlighted product is a showerhead with a removable speaker. The speaker connects to smart phones via Bluetooth, giving the speaker a portability function when using the shower and when getting ready for the day ahead. “There are always new ideas and new products available,” said Abel. “Kohler is very innovative.” Bath & Kitchen Showplace also sells products that appeal to a historic perspective. There are clawfoot tubs and console lavatories by Sunrise, as well as two-piece water see “Remodels” next page

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closets. Abel said bidets and toilet seats with bidet features are growing in popularity. “There are now toilet seats with the bidet feature that are heated with heated water.” He said customers are gravitating toward walk-in tubs, as well. “The safety tubs are deeper, have seats and many are jetted,” said Abel. He said the tubs appeal to homeowners of many ages because of the ease of maneuverability and some come with two seats for couples to enjoy. Kitchens, too, are being custom designed. Abel said there are any number of sink and faucet designs to appeal to the customer. Kohler has designed touch-free faucets to help out in the kitchen. When a person’s hands are just too messy there isn’t any need to create a bigger mess on the faucet for clean-up later. The individual needs only to tap the faucet for the water to turn on. Sinks vary from farmhouse style to large undermount sinks. What homeowners want

There are now toilet seats with the bidet feature that are heated with water.

is function and style. “Whatever a homeowner chooses to do when designing the kitchen and bath, it is always important to keep in mind the investment made now will pay off later,” said Abel. ‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Rich Schillinger and Ashley Borders look at a walk-in tub sold by Bath & Kitchen Showplace. Showing the couple the tub at the Central Washington Home & Garden Show last month is Scott Abel (right).

Large sinks like this farmhouse sink give a kitchen a classic feel combined with functionality.

Some People Are Shocked By What They Find When They Dig In Their Yards.

It’s that time of year when people begin poking all kinds of holes in the ground. New trees, shrubs, fence posts, mail boxes; you name it. All require some digging, and a hole from a foot to several feet deep. The problem these days is that you don’t really know what you are going to dig into. It may only be a few earthworms or the ball point pen you lost a few years ago. On the other hand, it could be a buried utility line. Like 220 volts of electricity. Or you may chop right into the cable TV line just in time for you favorite program. All of which would be unpleasant. And some of which could be downright dangerous.

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Locate underground power lines and other utilities by calling 811 or 1-800-424-5555. 402 7th St., Prosser (509) 786-2913 Toll Free: 800-221-6987 Email: info@bentonrea.org Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

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8 - Daily Sun News

april 16, 2013

Patio covers provide pleasing outdoor experiences by Jennie McGhan

Living in the Yakima Valley can be both pleasant and miserable, depending on the temperature outdoors. Patio Covers Unlimited, a Tri-Cities company, provides homeowners with a way to enjoy the outdoors regardless of whether it is a blazing 100 degrees or cold and rainy outside. Not only are patio covers appealing for temperature control purposes, but they can increase the value of a home, according to Dustin Barth. Barth installs pergolas throughout the region. He said Patio Covers Unlimited

provides stylish patio covers that give a home additional curb appeal. Each pergola is designed to fit the construction of the home and to appeal to the homeowner. Barth said homeowners in the Yakima and Columbia Basin are split between solid cover designs and slatted designs, but the company has many different styles certain to appeal to anyone. “Patio Covers Unlimited builds highgrade covers with a 15-year warranty on the paint and a lifetime warranty on the craftsmanship,” he said. Barth said homeowners want to enjoy see “Patio” next page

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atio Covers Unlimited provides stylish patio covers that give a home additional curb appeal. Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Solid patio covers provide shade and cover during outdoor gatherings. Customers of Patio Covers Unlimited choose such a pergola to provide protection from the rain during cooler months. Sun rooms are another option for outdoor living areas without being outside. Homeowners can relax and enjoy their yard and garden area without being exposed to the weather.

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the outdoors, whether for a barbecue or just to relax. Patio covers drop summer temperatures over a covered area as much as 20 degrees during the warmer months. The solid covers also provide a place out of the rain when people want to enjoy a barbecue during cooler months. “Patio covers also reduce energy bills indoors,” said Barth, noting a pergola can block radiant heat from windows. “It makes it easier to keep the home cool-

er during the summer,” said Barth. He said pergolas can be a wise investment. The price range for a patio cover can be between $16 and $21 per square foot, depending on the design and permits needed for installation. What a patio cover does, said Barth, is expand the living space of a home. “It makes it easier to enjoy your yard and garden areas.” ‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Dustin Barth of Patio Covers Unlimited talks about pergola designs offered by his company with Ken Alritch (left) at last month’s Central Washington Home & Garden Show in Yakima.

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Style, energy saving options available at Sunnyside Glass by Laura Gjovaag

As far as windows on houses are concerned, much of the business of Sunnyside Glass is replacing old wood or aluminum frames and installing new insulated windows. When windows need to be replaced, the first thing to do is figure out what type of window the customer wants, said Frank Posey, who works at the family-owned business with his father, Ron Posey. “When the width is more than the height you can get a slider,” he said. “When the height is more you put in a balancer. But it’s possible to mix and match. You might have the top of a window in a particular design, then have a slider in the lowest 12 inches. If you can imagine it, we can make it.” Most windows today are insulated glass units, or IGUs, that are made up of two panes of glass with a small space between them. This arrangement conducts less heat and sound through the window. Older houses often have single pane windows that let cold in. Replacing those windows with insulated windows can save a homeowner a lot of money. “If you do a whole house, say 13 windows, it will pay for itself in energy savings in 10 years,” said Posey. “Especially if you are making the move from wood to vinyl.” The oldest windows have wood frames and single panes. Wood frames tend to warp over time depending on moisture and can let drafts into a building. Although some home owners try to winterize their homes and block those drafts by putting sheets of plastic over the windows, Posey doesn’t recommend the method.

“It just traps the moisture in and damages the window and frame more,” he said. “It’s about the worst thing you can do to a window. And yet lots of people still do it.” Wood frames went out of fashion in the 1950s and 1960s as aluminum frames became popular. The main problem with those was a tendency to “sweat.” Moisture condensed on the windows depending on the season, and could cause damage to the surrounding wall. Vinyl has come into its own as a window frame material, with most new construction featuring some version of the material and more colors becoming available. At Sunnyside Glass, the concern is that the window frames match the climate. “We’ve put in bronze vinyl and it gets too hot and starts to warp in the summer,” said Posey. “Another problem with the vinyl is matching colors,” he said. “The bronze hasn’t been consistent in the past, although the companies are getting better.” The glass itself is another choice. Some types of glass are better at blocking UV rays, protecting furniture and other property from fading. Other types of glass provide more privacy while still allowing light in. “What type of glass we use depends on the needs of the customer,” said Posey. Installing windows is a year round business. While Posey prefers days that it’s not raining, it’s mostly just important that the work gets done. “People can save a lot of money with new windows,” he said. Sunnyside Glass works with mostly local manufacturers from Yakima and Spokane. And the company does much more than

Laura Gjovaag/Daily Sun News

A variety of glass types is available to examine at Sunnyside Glass. The glass has different characteristics for windows, shower doors or tabletops. Some varieties are made to block UV rays while others provide privacy while still allowing light into a room. just replacing house windows. One of the big projects the company is working on at the moment is specialized windows for the Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church’s new building on 16th Street. In addition to outside windows, Sunnyside Glass also provides glass for shower doors and table tops. The firm also provides wind-

shield services for all types of vehicles. Glass for mirrors and picture frames is also a service they provide, although they don’t provide the framing itself. “If it’s made of glass, we can find a piece that will fit,” said Posey. ‑ Laura Gjovaag can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email LGjovaag@DailySunNews.com

Laura Gjovaag/Daily Sun News

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Frank Posey looks through a selection of windows in the Sunnyside Glass building on Lincoln Avenue in Sunnyside. The family-owned company also provides repair services for vehicle windshields, from passenger cars to tractors.

vanwingerdenlandscaping.com VanWingerden Landscaping (office) 509-837-5593

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home & garden

Daily Sun News - 11

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12 - Daily Sun News

home & garden

Improve your home improvements by being wattsmart. Being wattsmart® means keeping energy efficiency in mind when you make improvements to your home. It also means taking advantage of cash incentives to help you pay for them. Could your kitchen use some new appliances? We’ve got incentives for that. How about new energy-efficient windows? We’ve got incentives. Or do you need to replace an old heating and cooling system? Yes, we’ve got incentives. Plus, your upgrade may be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $500. To learn more and save more, visit bewattsmart.com.

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april 16, 2013

home & garden

april 16, 2013

Take the stress out of your spring cleaning (STATEPOINT) - Throw open those doors and windows – there is no better cure for months of winter than some fresh spring air. But with spring, comes spring cleaning. And if the thought of pulling out mops, buckets and brooms brings on more stress than serenity, remember that a few tricks and some great tunes can make cleaning easier and perhaps even fun.  • Set the mood There are work playlists, workout playlists – why not a cleaning playlist? Put together some of your favorite, preferably upbeat tunes to motivate you while you’re working and keep that music playing when you’re moving from room to room.

S

pray a fresh clean scent to remind you of what’s to come when the work is done. Give your nose some sensory motivation too. Spray a fresh clean scent to remind you of what’s to come when the work is done. • Simplify The soups, stews and heavy cooking of winter earn kitchen appliances everywhere a little tender loving care. While the task of cleaning accumulated splatters and stuck-on food residue

from of heavy winter cooking can sound overwhelming, there are cleansers that can make the sprucing process a lot less labor-intensive. • Renew the refrigerator It’s easier to clean the fridge with less in it, so prior to starting, throw out what’s old, pull out what stays and roll up your sleeves. Clean door gaskets, racks and drawers with warm water and mild dish detergent. Don’t forget to clean underneath the refrigerator and the vent of the appliance. Proper air flow provides better performance and optimum efficiency. Once it’s all sparkly clean, admire your handiwork. Then put your food back inside before it spoils. • Maintain The dishwasher cleans dishes. What cleans the dishwasher? Don’t stress! Cleaning the dishwasher may be one of the easiest tasks on your checklist. Just run a normal wash cycle and add an easy-to-use tablet, such as affresh Dishwasher cleaner, to the bottom of the tub to help clean and remove residue. Likewise, you can clean your washing machine by running a normal cycle with hot water and a washer cleaner tablet. A formulated tablet designed to penetrate, dissolve and help remove odor-causing residue from the inside of the machine will give your washer and your clothes a fresh scent. Don’t forget to check washer and dryer drains and pipes for blockages – such as lint or the infamous missing sock – to improve optimum water and air flow. Clean the dryer’s outside exhaust to help shorten drying time and decrease energy use. For more helpful cleaning tips, visit www.affresh.com. You’ll be out enjoying the spring weather in no time.

Daily Sun News - 13

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14 - Daily Sun News

home & garden

april 16, 2013

Choosing the best mower for your yard by Amber Schlenker

After seeding, watering and fertilizing, mowing the lawn is a chore that just doesn’t end. But for some, mowing the lawn isn’t considered a chore, but a time of harvest of the hard work they’ve done, all while getting a tan. Experts say there isn’t a reason to outsource lawn care, especially if you’ve invested in the right equipment for your yard. There are three types of basic lawnmowers that are specifically designed to cut grass; a

walk-behind mower, a riding mower and a tow-behind mower. Walk-behind mowers are ideal for small to mid-sized suburban lawns. Walk-behind mowers come in a variety of flavors: reel, electric, cordless or gas-powered. Ultimately, you need to decide if you want to push the lawnmower or if you want it to propel itself. If you’ve got a larger property or simply do not want to walk, a riding lawnmower may be the best choice. see “Mower” next page

photo courtesy of RDO Equipment Co.

John Deere D-series riding lawnmowers are suggested for the basic, larger-thanresidential neighborhood lawn. Experts recommend customers with a half-acre to 1.5 acres of land invest in a D-series riding mower.

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home & garden

april 16, 2013

Daily Sun News - 15

Simplifying summer chores

photo courtesy of RDO Equipment Co.

John Deere Z-series riding lawnmowers are available at the Sunnyside RDO Equipment Company. These models offer a low-seated chair, for ease in and out of the mower. The steering on the Z-series is also different, allowing the mower to turn almost on a dime.

(BRANDPOINT) - As the weather warms, home improvement projects are added to many people’s to-do lists. From cleaning out gutters to cleaning the house from top to bottom, the project list seems never ending. Here are some new tips to make the most common summer home improvement projects a breeze so you can enjoy the warm weather with family and friends. - Be sure to use a large spoon or specific gutter cleaning scoop to get the debris out. Use water to loosen up caked on dirt and use a gutter scoop to remove. Make sure to flush your gutters with water once you’ve removed the debris – it’ll help them flow during those inevitable summer showers! - Make sure you take note of your cleaning supplies before you get started. You don’t want to climb up the ladder to wash your windows and realize that you’re out of window cleaner! Prepare one bucket of supplies that can be transported to every room and up and

E

xperts say there isn’t a reason to outsource lawn care, especially if you’ve invested in the right equipment for your yard.

down ladders; the essentials are glass cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, a few rags and some paper towels. - Of all cleaning projects, window washing can seem the most daunting. But it doesn’t have to be a painful task. Before you start, line the sill (or floor, if washing floor-to-ceiling windows) with towels to prevent water dripping or running. Use a standard glass cleaner on a clean rag and wipe across the window in horizontal strokes. For perfect, streak-free windows, run a squeegee from top to bottom to remove excess cleaner. Dry the windows with clean towels or rags. Voila – the sun can shine in! - While you’re working on your summer home improvement projects, make it fun – open the windows, put on some summery tunes, and let the sun motivate you to get finished as quickly as possible so you can enjoy the season.

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❚ Mower continued from page 14

RDO Equipment Co. salesman Eric Garza says the local company provides its customers with several John Deere riding mowers, as well as Honda push mowers. The Sunnyside-area company has other types of mowers on hand for all kinds of projects, yards and people. The D-series riding mowers are the basic models. Garza says a D-series is recommended for a half-acre to 1.5 acre yard, which relatively flat land. The X-series is more widely recommended for yards 2 to 10 acres in size, and for yards with a bit tougher terrain. The Z-series riding mowers, according to Garza, are most popular among folks who want to get the job done with ease and precision. The Z-series mowers have a lower seat, which Garza says may be easier on the back, if having to ride the mower for a long period of time. These mowers also are widely known for a short turning radius, making it easier and quicker to get the job done. ‑ Amber Schlenker can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email ASchlenker@DailySunNews.com

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Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News

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home & garden

april 16, 2013

Nouvella Club speaker shows how container gardens can brighten lives all year long by Jennie McGhan

Theresa Gannon is a gardening expert. She owns Yellow Rose Nursery and Landscaping in Prosser. Last month, she taught members of the Sunnyside Nouvella Club how to cheer up the environment with container gardens. Gannon, the featured speaker at the club’s March meeting, said she likes to add a splash of color to her environment with different perennials. During the cooler months this can be done by finding peren-

G

annon, the featured speaker at the club’s March meeting, said she likes to add a splash of color to her environment with different perennials.

nials that have colorful foliage. Demonstrating her point, she designed a container garden with plants like coral bells, stoplight, peach flambé, spellbound, spring torch, helleborus and other colorful foliage. “This is mostly for spring fever,” said Gannon. “Some of the plants have blooms later in the year,” she noted, stating spring and summer container gardens can be designed with annuals. However, annuals need to be replanted each year. Gannon said it is best to start the planting process by using a weed barrier at the bottom of the container. She said gravel and bark are not recommended because they can block holes used for drainage. To help the soil naturally contract and expand, she recommends breaking up the plastic containers in which plants are purchased. Once that is done some potting soil can be added to the container and the planting can begin. see “Gardens” next page

A hellebores serves as the focal point for the container garden Theresa Gannon designed during a demonstration at last month’s Nouvella Club meeting in Sunnyside.

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

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Daily Sun News - 17

❚ Gardens continued from page 16

Gannon said she shaves approximately half the roots off the plant once it is removed from its original container. “It’s not important to be super careful with the plant,” said Gannon, stating plants will recover from being handled when the gardener is shaving the roots. Because most container gardens are kept indoors during the cooler months, she told the Nouvella Club members shade plants do well.

It’s not important to be super careful with the plant,” said Gannon Gannon said she selects a large number of plants for the container space because she likes the plants to fit snugly against one another. “A nice container garden has plants that play off the color of the plant that is used as a focal point,” she said, noting the focal point will be the tallest plant in the container. Gannon balances the colors using plants Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News with similar colors on opposite sides of the Theresa Gannon of Yellow Rose Nursery and Landscaping tells Nouvella Club container. members she selects perennials with lots of color when designing a container garWhen asked about recommended potting den during cooler months. soils, Gannon said she believes a mix of http://www.milgard.com/lp/transform-your-home/raq/northwest/?cid=MMI10645&utm_s...fic%20Northwest&utm_term=MMI10645&gclid=CNmf8cXIorYCFa1xQgodI2IAOA&mobile=false

peat moss, pumice and wood compost helps plants stay healthy. She said moisture control soils are not recommended because they contain a bead-like substance that may not be evenly dispersed among the plants. As a result some plants may receive too much moisture and other plants may not receive enough. Instead, Gannon said, there are moisture control sheets that can be cut to size. “It’s better to water on a consistent basis,” she told the women attending the Nouvella Club meeting. For spring baskets that have blooms throughout the summer, Gannon had advice about the type of plants to use. She said “proven winners” will flow and grow abundantly. Providing guidance regarding fertilizers, Gannon said her nursery uses humic acid mixed with potash or Dynamite brand. Gannon said she also adds insecticide to the baskets and container gardens she designs. Once the container garden is complete, she said it is best to drench the soil for the first watering. A container garden in cooler months can be watered three times each week. Black containers should not be used outdoors in the summer, she said. Gannon recommends lighter colored containers if the garden will be exposed to the sun to prevent the soil from being overheated. ‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com

When selecting a contractor avoid pitfalls of getting ripped off ●

In Washington, all contractors who perform work, or who advertise or submit bids are required to register with the Department of Labor and Industries. These businesses are also required to post a bond and carry general liability insurance coverage. While the law provides some protection from fraudulent or incompetent contractors, it doesn’t guarantee honest transactions or perfect performance. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries warns consumers to be informed and cautious before beginning home projects. State labor officials say before hiring a contractor, the consumer should plan the project carefully. If you know what you want done and can clearly explain it, you’re less likely to be misunderstood when giving instructions or encounter cost overruns. State experts also say the homeowner should interview contractors and check that the contractor is indeed registered. The consumer may also do themselves well to verify the contractor has obtained worker’s comp coverage. State L&I officials say there are a few ●

ways consumers can recognize a scam, before getting roped into it. The first sign the contractor may be trying to scam you is if they provide a credential or reference that can’t be verified. Other warning signs are when the contractor: -Offers a special price only if you sign today, or use other high-pressure sales techniques. Transform Your Home Start Your Free Price Quote Now Clearly the Best - 8 Times! -Only accepts cash, require large deposits 2013 Best Quality Vinyl Window in the Nation - Builder Magazine Contact Information or the entire costs up front, or asks you to make the payment in their name. * First name: -Does not provide a written contract or * Last name: complete bid. -Asks you to get the building permit. In * Email: most instances, if you have hired a contracCompetitive Pricing and Expert Installation Available tor, the contractor is required to secure the Milgard® windows Strong, beautiful, long lasting and durable. and doors are * Address permits. Permits are stunning your protection designed with architecturaland style and superior performance. From Your Home-Owned Glass Company! help ensure that work will meet local build* ZIP Code: Complete the form to request a competitive, no-obligation, free price quote ing codes. Ask About Energy Rebates and Incentives your local Milgard Certified Dealer. -Offers from exceptionally long warrantees. * Phone from Local Utilities! -Wants to do most or all the work on For new homes, remodeling projects, or anywhere quality windows and doors weekends and after hours. Project CallInformation your certified Milgard are desired, Milgard delivers it all: -Gives you an offer that sounds “too good dealer for this area today * Time Frame: to be true.” Milgard was named as the best quality vinyl window in the nation by - Please Select To report Builder fraudulent contractors, call 501 Yakima Valley Hwy. Magazine. Estimated Windows: - Please Select 1-888-811-5974 or visit www.Fraud.Lni. Sunnyside, WA 98944 Milgard Full Lifetime Warranty, an industry leading warranty that includes Albrecht Glass, Inc. Estimated Doors: - Please Select wa.gov.

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18 - Daily Sun News

april 16, 2013

Storage options now available via Yakima-area businessman by Amber Schlenker

After hearing the news that the company he had been employed at for numerous years was planning to pick up and move, Yakima resident Bill Spring says he couldn’t bear the thought of leaving the town he grew to love. That’s when it was time to start looking for another career path that held his attention and kept him in the place he loves to call home. As a connoisseur of cleanliness and organization, working with Monkey Bar Storage seemed like the perfect fit for Spring. Garage storage has always been a problem

photo courtesy of Monkey Bar Storage

Here is a taste of what the garden rack by Monkey Bar Storage Systems can hold.

for home owners. Monkey Bars Storage Systems works to provide a solution to this age old problem. The versatile shelf-rack system allows home owners to customize storage solutions based on their individual, changing needs. Along with the spring season come thoughts of crisp, fresh air, newly budding flowers, singing birds and a sense of renewal. Getting organized and doing a bit of spring cleaning helps to bring that wonderful fresh feeling into your home and office. If you want an uncluttered home, learning the Feng Shui art of uncluttered living may prove useful. Feng Shui teaches that if energy can easily flow through a room, your life will be more harmonious and happy. An uncluttered home may mean less to dust, less clutter to look at and an easier time finding the things you do use. In addition, the uncluttered home may provide less stress in your life That’s where Monkey Bar Storage comes in. The company offers a variety of storage options, including a garage bike rack, a garden tool rack, a golf bag rack, a ski storage rack, a chair rack and a shelf-rack. For more information on the options Monkey Bar Storage offers, visit www.monkeybarstorage.com or call Spring directly at 509-941-3966. ‑ Amber Schlenker can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email ASchlenker@DailySunNews.com

Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News

Bill Spring and his daughter Nyssa pose next to a sample of what Monkey Bar Storage Systems offers those wanting to organize the spaces in their homes, garages and offices.

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Daily Sun News - 19

Growing an Earth-friendly lawn If you want a lush lawn, stop killing your weeds and crowd them out, instead. That’s the advice from experts who say that new, environmentally friendly types of turfgrass are dense enough to prevent weeds and crabgrass from germinating, without using any chemicals. The turfgrass presents a green alternative for homeowners worried about the effects of weed killers on the environment and on the animals that live in their yard.

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20 - Daily Sun News

home & garden

april 16, 2013

Lawn-free landscapes can cut down maintenance time by Laura Gjovaag

The first factor in deciding what to do with a yard is determining what the owner plans on using it for, said John Van Wingerden of Van Wingerden Landscaping, Inc. “You need to determine the function of the area,” he said. “Do you plan on spending a lot of time in it, or do you just want it to look good?” While no landscape it maintenance-free, lawns may be the most labor intensive, according to Van Wingerden. They need to be watered and mowed regularly. A lawn-free yard can cut down on maintenance costs and time, and can range from fairly simple to extremely elegant. The most basic way to beautify a yard without grass is to simply put down rock. Van Wingerden said blending colors can make for a great looking yard with relatively low maintenance. Adding boulders to the mix can bring in visual appeal. For yards that will be used as a gathering place, a level surface can be made from various materials. Gravel can work as a surface, but more people opt for paving stones or stamped concrete. Retaining walls can add dimension to an area. Decorative walls can be fantastically beautiful but can also be expensive. Raised beds offer the possibility of different types of plants and the flexibility to change as the owner desires. Such plots will need to be weeded, but that work is often less effort than mowing a lawn. A lot of people want to have a water feature in their yard. Fountains and waterfalls can add a lot to a yard, but Van Wingerden warns against simply getting one to have one. “It’s important to pick the right spot, where it will be seen and enjoyed,” he said. “Many people get a water feature and never

photo courtesy Van Wingerden Landscaping, Inc.

Stamped concrete can be used in many different ways to enhance a landscape. In this area the concrete steps are shaped to fit with the rocks. see it. A fountain in the right place can elevate a garden, but a fountain in the wrong spot is a drag on the whole area.” Planning is key to a successful landscaping effort. A gathering area that is open to the evening sun might be too warm to use regularly, while a patio facing a road may need a fence to block out traffic sounds. For those on a budget, creating a lawn-

free landscape isn’t impossible. Again, planning is the key. Van Wingerden said landscaping a yard can be done piecemeal. “The most important thing is to have a plan for the whole yard,” he said. Pieces can be put in later, but without a plan the end result may not match up with the beginning parts. Van Wingerden Landscaping, Inc. offers

free consulting with estimates, and can create a plan for a long-term improvement to a yard. “We start with what you will use it for,” said Van Wingerden. “The design will follow from that.” ‑ Laura Gjovaag can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email LGjovaag@DailySunNews.com

photo courtesy Van Wingerden Landscaping, Inc.

A water feature can add a lot to an area, but needs to be where it will be seen and enjoyed. John Van Wingerden said that many people insist on a fountain or other water feature but are never outside to enjoy it, turning it into a drag to maintain instead of a joy.

photo courtesy Van Wingerden Landscaping, Inc.

A retaining wall shapes a courtyard, where the residents can sit and enjoy the surrounding landscape. Plants will fill out the scene and can be changed by the owners as desired.

home & garden

april 16, 2013

Daily Sun News - 21

Make the most of composting I (STATEPOINT) - It doesn’t matter if you’re a gardening novice trying to supplement your dinner table with some home-grown veggies or an entrepreneur that earns a living off the land, composting is a simple way to go green and help save the environment. You don’t have to be an environmentalist to compost, either. Compost, which is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled and used for fertilizing soil, is great for your garden and will help

reduce landfill waste. In addition, composting in your home garden will help you save money. “Using compost means your garden will be more cost-effective because you will have to spend less on fertilizers, insecticides, and fungicides for a given harvest of any crop,” says Brett L. Markham, author of The Mini Farming Guide to Composting, the latest in his Mini Farming book series.  preparedness, “mini farming” anywhere, Across the country people are embrac- from rooftop urban gardens to suburban ing the concept of self-sufficiency and backyards to larger land plots. Growing food is easier than ever and composting is a huge part of this movement. Markham offers these gardening tips to get started on composting: • Composting is a natural form of recycling, so use food waste, grass clippings, coffee grounds and even paper as compost. Just be sure to shred the paper first to speed up the process. • Start your compost pile in a convenient spot, and make sure it is semi-shaded and well-drained. • Add bulking agents such as wood chips to accelerate the breakdown of organic materials, allowing the finished material to fully stabilize and mature through a curing process. Add leaves, straw, or hay along

n addition, composting in your home garden will help you save money.

Composting can help improve the quality of your garden.

with grass clippings or green manures for plenty of bulk. Each layer should be no more than two inches so that the grass clippings or leaves don’t get matted down to form a layer impermeable to air. • Keep the compost moist. Either water it yourself or let rain take care of it. The compost should be moist, but not soaked. • Cover the compost pile to help retain moisture and heat. This will also help prevent the compost from being over-watered by the rain. • Turn the compost pile with a shovel or a fork to aerate the pile. It is important to water the pile as you turn it as well. Turning the pile adds oxygen to the compost which is necessary to get the most out of your pile. • Once you add the compost to your garden, you’ll be ready to start planting in two to five weeks! Composting is the first easy step to helping the environment while growing your own food. So make the most out of your garden, and start digging!

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22 - Daily Sun News

home & garden

april 16, 2013

Building cabinets and other custom wood-working creations professionally for the past 30 years, Grandview’s Doug Shelton shows no signs of slowing down.

John Fannin/Daily Sun News

John Fannin/Daily Sun News

Clean lines and corners, including concealed hinges, are trends reflected in this cabinet piece created by Doug Shelton for a client.

Sometimes new woodworking is inspired by old, as Doug Shelton describes how the ornate top of an antique armoire provided the spark for a doorway in his Grandview shop.

John Fannin/Daily Sun News

Wood-working a labor of love for cabinet maker by John Fannin

GRANDVIEW – Doug Shelton has been creating professional cabinets and other wooden fixtures for three decades. Honing lessons he learned from teacher Dale Yockey while still a high school student in Granger, Shelton hasn’t lost any of the excitement that first drew him to woodworking. His is a life-long learning process of learning and improving his craft of woodworking. That pride of workmanship is evident in the cabinets and other millworking he’s produced from his home in Grandview. It’s on display in places ranging from the Grandview High School trophy case to the interior wood fixtures and doorways at a number of Prosser wine-tasting rooms. A big part of his work is helping homeowners looking for that custom-look in cabinetry. He says the trends in cabinetry these days are towards painted wood. Shelton says no particular color is especially in vogue, as customers have requested paint colors ranging from butternut yellow to black. A trend for a number of years, Shelton adds, is a European-inspired style that includes concealed hinges. That style also has a focus on clean lines and corners, with no hardware such as handles exposed. When customers approach him about designing and constructing their cabinets,

he first suggests they explore home design magazines to get ideas for what kind of look they might find appealing. “Once they have an idea what they’re looking for then they come and see me,” he says. Shelton also encourages prospective customers looking for a contractor for their home remodel to visit with their neighbors and friends to see what experiences they’ve had with contractors. Besides personal tastes in colors and hardware, Shelton says there is also an abundance of wood to choose from when it comes to making custom cabinets. He says one of his personal favorites is black walnut. The most popular choice is probably oak because of its reliability and that it’s a fairly easy wood to work with, Shelton says. An advantage of custom cabinetry is not only selecting just the right wood, style, hardware and color to meet personal tastes – but the ability to keep regional needs in mind. For example, Shelton says here in the Lower Valley - especially cabinets and wood-working he has done for some farms – a common request is for flat doors and surfaces. “They don’t want any ledges to catch the dust,” he says. Shelton, 64, enjoys the workmanship he creates for folks here in the Lower Valley and says has no plans to ever retire. “I love my work,” he smiles. “You can

step back after finishing a project and say that’s pretty and I did that.” - John Fannin can be reached at 837-4500 or at jfannin@dailysunnews.com

Custom cabinets built by Doug Shelton are visible in homes and businesses around the Lower Valley, including this larger-than-life display at the Milbrandt Vineyards tasting room in Prosser.

John Fannin/Daily Sun News

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2013’s hottest home trends and easy upgrades (BRANDPOINT) - The top home decor trends for 2013 are already emerging, and homeowners seeking a fresh look will find a lot to love. Not only can these looks be accomplished in minimal time - they’re budget friendly and easy enough for DIYers to finish in a weekend or less. Giving your home an updated feel doesn’t require a full-scale renovation. Instead, focus on simple updates for the most frequently used rooms in your house. When you’re ready to get started on your home’s new look, let these trends of the year be your design guide. - In the kitchen Kitchens need to be functional, but in this hub of the home style is just as important. Upholding practicality while adding visual interest is a top trend this season. Two-toned upper and lower cabinet colors are rapidly growing in popularity as a way to let homeowners customize their kitchen spaces and express their personalities. * Maple is the style frontrunner when it comes to wooden cabinets, but painted cabinets in white, black and gray tones are also on the rise. Whether you opt to replace your cabinet fronts or paint them, your efforts will give you impressive - and fast - results. * On the functionality front, innovative hands-free faucets simplify cooking and cleaning tasks while requiring minimal effort to install. * Open shelving is seeing a boost in popularity. Both glass-fronted cabinets and simple open shelves capture this trend, allowing you to put your style on display while creating a sleek, updated look. - In the bath A luxurious-feeling bath doesn’t need to make big demands on your wallet. By

A

luxuriousfeeling bath doesn’t need to make big demands on your wallet.

photo courtesy Brandpoint

Modular items for the bathroom vanity can add both storage and a new update for the vanity. making a few on-trend updates, you’ll give your room designer appeal guaranteed to make an impression. * Updating the vanity, often the focal point in a bathroom, provides immediate results. Customizable modular options like those from the allen + roth Windelton line let you create a storage-savvy vanity that fits virtually any bathroom while also adding functional drawer and countertop space. * Tiling provides the perfect solution to add extra personality to your bath. Right now, trends offer two different but equally chic directions - large-scale tile and

small-scale mosaics. Tiles with wood-like appearances are also gaining popularity; they create a warm, inviting look, but offer the wet-space practicality of tile. If it’s your first time tiling, home improvement experts at stores like Lowe’s can provide guidance to get started with your tile flooring. - Throughout the home When it comes to low-effort, big-impact changes, it’s hard to beat a fresh coat of paint. For walls that feel drab, boring or outdated, new paint makes a color statement and draws attention to architectural details. Follow these paint tips to make an

instant, dramatic impression: * Alter the dimensions of a space by painting ceilings a slightly lighter color than the walls. * Create patterns and shapes using painter’s tape. Stripes, chevrons and ombre effects are perfectly on-trend. * Highlight architectural details by painting interior doors and trim in a colorful hue instead of traditional white. In one weekend or less, these simple changes will make your home feel like an entirely new space. So when the seasonal urge to renovate sets in, don’t resist - reinvigorate your home with these ideas.

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