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Selections of Decorative Hardware & • bending over means less be TOOLS, FROM 1H Plumbing Fixtures when digging, something trenches or pruning roots. Its folks with back issues can handle is shorter, which appreciate. Square-nose shovel: Square-nos makes it lighter. with a flat edge Trowel: It’s a small, hand- Shovel heads wi held tool that can be used to are not meant for digging, but scooping loose dig holes for seeds, seedlings for moving or sc gravel, etc., on soil, leaves, gra and small plants. Round-point shovel: flat surfaces. Look for a hold the largThe pointed tip makes dig- shovel that can h material you ging easier and minimizes est amount of m repeatedly. the amount of bending one can lift repeated has to do. When shopping, look at the shovel’s lift, the WEEDING

conventional hoe Hoe: A conv angle formed between the ground and the handle when has a flat front edge that is

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have heads that A shovel with a generous lift for weeding hav Must present coupon for offer. Expires 11/15/08 Must present coupon for offer. Applies to new remodeling contracts. Effective 11/01/08. come in an assortment of sizes and KITCHEN TCHEN – DINING ROOM – STUDY – LIBRARY – BEDROOM - BATHROOM shapes shapes. Cul Cultivator : A Visit our New Allied Kitchen & Bath hand-h hand-held tool that Showroom typica typically has a 954.564.1611 forked tip, it’s used www.alliedkitchenandbath.com to lit literally pop 616 West Oakland Park Boulevard weeds out of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida ground ground. Free Estimates

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Tooling around KEEPING IT ORGANIZED Whether you have a garage or small nook, an organized storage space makes gardening easier. Before you put away your tools, survey them, and then organize them according to how they would best be stored. Make separate groups for long-handled tools, hand tools, gloves and shoes, hoses, pots and watering cans, seeds and fertilizer and big equipment. You have several storage options:

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longer handle. Loppers range from 1 to 3 feet. A lopper is good for those who might have physical limitations such as arthritis that make using a hand-held pruner difficult. Hand-held pruning shears: For small tasks such as trimming shrubs, vines or very thin and flexible branches on young trees, this is a must-have for gardeners because of its versatility. Handheld pruners should not be used on any b r a n c h thicker than your pinkie, as to not damage the tool or plant. Pruni n g saw: When hand-held pruning shears are too small for a cutting job, use a pruning saw. It can cut branches that are 1 to 5 inches in diameter. Some models can be folded like a Swiss army knife. Pole pruner: T his extendable-handle pruning tool comes in handy when you need a little extra reach for cutting high branches, even when standing on a stepladder. It is most effective on branches with a diameter less than 1 inch. OTHER MUST-HAVES Rake: Even if you have a leaf blower, a rake comes in handy for cleaning fallen leaves. Look for one with the largest fan-shaped head you can find. Rakes with metal tines are more durable than plastic. Spreader: This is used to evenly apply fertilizer or seeds when reseeding a thin lawn. Knee pads or a kneeling pad: These cushion your knees and keep them clean.

PROPER TECHNIQUES • Wear gloves for protection against chemicals, sharp branches and blisters. Use gloves that are form-fitting but not restrictive. • Hold tools with a light grasp; avoid a tight sustained grip. • Tool handles should provide equal pressure along the entire arch of the palm. • Alternate your gardening tasks to avoid injury and stiffness. Repeatedly gripping and releasing tools, such as pruning shears, can hurt your hands or wrists. • If you have to carry a heavy watering can, make sure the handle is thick enough to provide a comfortable grip. • Shorter people should check the length of long-handled tools to avoid back strain. Taller people may require longer tools to avoid leaning.

Soil probe: Take the guesswork out of watering. Stick a probe in the ground to determine how dry or moist soil is before watering. That way, you don’t water too much or too little. Soaker hose: Haven’t had the time or money to install a drip irrigation system? Consider using a soaker hose, which allows water to seep out through small holes slowly and steadily and delivers water directly to plant, grass and tree roots. Wheeled cart: Use one to keep all the tools you’ll need within arm’s reach, so you won’t have to go back and forth to the garage or shed. If all you have are a few hand-held tools, a tool belt can do the trick as well. TOOL-CARE TIPS Though high-quality garden tools can cost a pretty penny, experts say it’s worth spending as much as you can afford on good tools that will hold up under frequent use and last many seasons. So it pays to treat tools with care. Here are some tips to help keep your garden tools in good condition: • Wash tools after using them. Do not allow caked mud, dirt or debris to sit. Doing so can cause tools to deteriorate or cause damage faster than expected. • Allow tools to dry completely before storing to prevent rusting and handle rot. • Rub wood handles with linseed oil several times a year to protect their finish. • Keep pruning tools and shears sharp. Sharpen only the cutting edge. • Lubricate tools’ moving parts with a light oil, such as WD-40, to keep corrosion at bay. • Remove rust with a dab of oil. • Another rustprevention tip: Store cleaned shovels, hoes and other digging tools in a five-pound bucket filled with builders’ sand and a quart of oil. The oily, grainy solution will help prolong your tools’ life.

Sources: University of Missouri Extension office; Indiana Hand Center

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$126,000 Seller: Residential Funding Co. Buyers: Jorge and Lucy Suarez. Address: 17541 NW 47th Ct., Miami. Yr. built: 1958. Bdrms: 3. Baths: 2. A/C sq. ft.: 1,633. Lot sq. ft.: 9,000. Taxes: $4,458. Other: Waterfront. Previous sale: $273,000. Days on market: 59. Agent: Patrick Duffy, Duffy Realty.

$400,000 Seller: Gonzalez-Sirgo Trust. Buyer: Michael J. Grigo. Address: 1208 Alberca St., Coral Gables. Yr. built: 1925. Bdrms: 2. Baths: 1. A/C sq. ft.: 1,676. Lot sq. ft.: 4,800. Taxes: $8,868. Previous sale: $213,000 in 2000. Days on market: 46. Agents: Mauricio J. Barba, Coldwell Banker Residential; Ileana Rodriguez, Remax.

$470,000 Seller: Kurt Vogel. Buyers: Mark and Jamie Tarshis. Address: 4929 NW 110th Ter., Coral Springs. Yr. built: 1997. Bdrms: 6. Baths: 4. A/C sq. ft.: 3,673. Lot sq. ft.: 10,650. Taxes: $10,766. Other: Pool. Previous sale: $675,000 in 2006. Days on market: 35. Agents: Hap Pomerantz, The Keyes Co.; Lance Sherman, Remax Parkcreek.

$314,000 Sellers: James R. Kitchens and Edward Lee. Buyer: Fiorella Speziani. Address: 3555 S. Lake Dr., Miami. Yr. built: 1962. Bdrms: 3. Baths: 2. A/C sq. ft.: 1,434. Lot sq. ft.: 6,250. Taxes: $2,600. Other: Waterfront. Previous sale: $115,000 in 1999. Days on market: 148. Agents: James Kitchens, Dooley Realty; Patricia Parker, Coldwell Banker.

Plant the seeds of inspiration •

BOOKS, FROM 1H

ingly composed with twin goals of satisfying the client while emphasizing the singular beauty of tropical and subtropical plants. • Snowbird Gardening: A Guide for South Florida’s Winter Residents. Chase Landre. Planthead. $19.95. This friendly, small book is aimed squarely at an audience that contends with being absent in the rainy season and present during the dry season. So Landre suggests hardy plants that are low maintenance and colorful over winter: crown of thorns, crotons, Hong Kong orchid tree, desert cassia, India holly, bougainvillea, pentas, society garlic and the like. She also likes palms, particularly the pygmy date palm. She counsels her snowbirds to stay away from frangipani, which is leafless during winter. And she urges them to consider dwarf and plants that grow ever-soslowly and won’t jump the fence over summer. A Bradenton gardener, Landre’s list of common garden mistakes for winter residents is full of experienced truth. Mistakes include planting too close to the house,

walkways, drives, other plants; not considering the ultimate size of a plant; expecting nature to water plants while away; planting right before leaving; taking advice from neighbors, brothers-in-law ‘‘or anyone else who doesn’t grow/sell plants for a living.’’ She includes a helpful list of plants that will take winter sun and summer shade as well as winter shade and summer sun. She advises on fertilizers and planting techniques. Most of the book consists of nice photographs of the 140 plants she likes, with short descriptions that include important data about

plant height, sun needs and whether each is fast or slow growing. For shrubs and ground covers, she includes how far apart to plant. Landre cautions against planting citrus because of the maintenance required, and she notes that citrus canker and citrus greening diseases may make some varieties hard to find. • Backyards, A Sunset Design Guide. Bridget Biscotti Bradley and editors of Sunset Books. $22.95. With Patio & Stone, A Sunset Design Guide, T om Wilhite and editors of Sunset Books. $22.95. New gardeners need inspiration, and Sunset has long been in the inspiration business with affordable and picture-drenched books. These two include interactive DVDs. The Backyards ideas come from around the country, including South Florida, and there’s enough variety on the themes (outdoor beds and rugs; water; dining outdoors) to spark some ‘‘Gee, I could do that’’ in many a creative gardener. The same is true of Patio & Stone. Stone and pebbles, river rocks and even monoliths are wonderful additions to gardens, and many of them seem

to belong next to or even in water: a pond, a waterfall, a stream, even a dry stream. Earth-friendly advice: ‘‘Use stone from the nearest source. If you have stones on your property, use them. Otherwise, choose stones collected or quarried locally to cut down on fuel used for transportation.’’ And this: ‘‘Be sure to grade for on-site drainage, and consider adding a French drain, dry creekbed, rain garden or series of terraces to prevent runoff.’’ • The All-New Illustrated Guide to Gardening from Reader’s Digest ($35) is now all organic. A lot of the plants are temperate, but the illustrations are excellent and useful for us. Planting water lilies, dividing old ones, dividing colocasia, growing sagittaria . . . the water garden section is terrific, as are sections on pruning, vegetables, herbs and plant disorders. Chapters on individual trees, shrubs, vines, fruit trees and bulbs are well-done and easy to use. Floridians who live in USDA plant hardiness zone 9 will find quite a number of plants that can be used; those of us in 10 will be less satisfied.

$

$135,000 Seller: Anthony Khaleel. Buyers: Gianni and Annmarie Piras. Address: 1701 NE 115th St., #17A, Miami. Yr. built: 1974. Bdrms: 1. Baths: 1. A/C sq. ft.: 776. Lot sq. ft.: Condo. Taxes: $2,756. Other: Pool. Previous sale: $160,000 in 2006. Days on market: 152. Agents: Patrick Duffy, Duffy Realty; Jennifer Brilliant, Keller Williams.

Available at all participating ACE Dealers and these select locations.

799

$190,000

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• ACE HOME CENTER (SOUTH MIAMI) Sellers: Wayne and Karen Miller. 7325 SW Red Road, South Miami 33143 • 305-667-1198 Buyers: Serge Noel and Marie Gilet. • ACE HOME CENTER (PINECREST) Address: 255 NE 122nd St., North Miami. Yr. built: 1959. SW 124th St, 1,690. Pinecrest 33156 305-235-9341 Bdrms: 3. Baths:8285 2. A/C sq. ft.: Lot sq.• ft.: 7,500. • ACE HOME CENTER (MIAMI BEACH) Taxes: $5,338. Previous sale: $82,000 in 1988. 545 Arthur Godfrey Rd, MiamiDuffy, Beach 33140 305-531-0836 Days on market: 260. Agents: Patrick Duffy• Realty; Jean • AVENTURA Sorel, Ocean View Realty. HARDGOODS COMPANY 17811 Biscayne Blvd. Aventura FL 33160 • 786-428-0028

These are homes that ACE recently have been sold. Realty agents • DORAL HARDWARE and brokers: To 10758 have NW your recent sales in this column, go 58th St., Doral, FL appear 33178 • 305-406-1072

® to www.MiamiHerald.com, clickHARDWARE on Real Estate, scroll down and The Genesis • RONNIE’S ACE click on the link 13550 ‘HowSW does your home fill out the form 120th St Suite 410compare’ Miami, FL 33186 • 305-251-3344 and ™ follow instructions. is HARDGOODS no charge. Incomplete EP-310 • SOUTHThere BEACH COMPANY forms will NOT be processed for publication. 1668 Alton Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139 • 305-672-7070 • SYKES ACE HARDWARE 284 NE 79 Street, Miami, FL 33138 • 305-754-2556 • WILSON HART ACE HARDWARE 17379 South Dixie Highway Palmetto Bay, Fl 33157 • 305-233-7030


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