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CITIZEN’S NEWS

16

Friday, October 4, 2013

Falll Home e Improvement

How to prepare your yard for winter Changing seasons can be tough on a lawn. Always exposed to the elements, lawns can fare especially poorly upon the arrival of winter, a season known for its harsh and unforgiving weather. Even the most perfectly manicured lawn can suffer at the hands of winter weather, causing homeowners to sit idly by and hope spring arrives that much sooner. But as punishing as winter weather can be on a lawn, homeowners are not without recourse. Much like homeowners can take steps to help their lawns survive sizzling summer heat waves during the warmer months of the year, they also can take steps to help their lawns make it through the often stormy weather synonymous with winter. • Don’t procrastinate. Putting off the

process of winterizing a lawn can put that lawn in jeopardy. Lawns will turn dormant the closer you get to winter, and they may reject the nutrients found in fertilizer as a result. Those nutrients will prove valuable once spring weather returns, so start the winterization process in early fall so the lawn has sufficient time to absorb nutrients and strengthen itself for the seasons to come. • Treat trouble spots. Summer can be even harder on a lawn than winter, especially for those lawns located in regions where heat waves and drought are common. In such instances, certain spots on the lawn seem to be hit harder than others, and those spots should get special attention when winterizing the lawn. Check the soil’s pH levels before fertilizing or applying any treatments.

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Such a test will reveal which spots need the most attention, and treating trouble spots now will make spring lawn care that much easier. • Aerate the property. Aerating can help a lawn recover after a long summer and help it survive the potentially harsh months that lie ahead. Aerating, which involves puncturing the soil or removing cores of soil from the ground, can restore a lawn to health by improving its drainage and allowing more water and air to reach the roots of the grass. Aerating also makes it easier for nutrients to penetrate the soil, which encourages a healthier lawn over the long haul. Aerators can be purchased or rented, but homeowners uncomfortable with the process may want to enlist a professional to tackle the job. Parents of small children who spend lots of time in the yard may need to aerate their lawn more than most, as heavy lawn traffic compresses the soil, a potentially harmful process that can be reversed via aeration. • Take steps to strengthen the roots. Aerating promotes stronger roots, but homeowners might also want to find a

winterizing product with potassium and phosphorous, both of which can strengthen roots. Different types of lawns will respond differently to certain winterizers, so discuss your options with a lawn care professional who can help you find the right fit for your property. • Remove debris from the lawn. Debris left on a lawn over the winter can prove very harmful. Piles of debris left scattered around a lawn can suffocate the blades of grass, leading to long-term damage and a potentially unsightly lawn come the spring. In addition, piles of debris might make good homes for organisms that can damage the lawn. As fall moves into winter, periodically remove all debris, including leaves and branches fallen from trees. • Make the lawn off-limits once the temperatures dip below freezing. A lawn should be off-limits once the ground freezes. Stepping on grass that has frozen will leave noticeable footprints, and walking on frozen grass can kill the turf. When winter arrives, people should avoid using the lawn as a shortcut into and out of your home and stick to driveways and sidewalks instead.


Friday, October 4, 2013

MYCITIZENSNEWS.COM

17

Falll Home e Improvement

Create a fresh look for your home Before the holidays bring family celebrations and visiting friends to your home, give your home a new look and improve its comfort level. Check out the suggestions below, make your project list, and then go to Woodcraft for the tools and accessories to get the job done. “Put safety first,” cautions Scott Phillips, host of The American Woodshop. “Before you begin your first project, make sure you have eye, ear and breathing protection available and then follow the manufacturer’s directions for all the tools and products you use. Have a first-aid kit and a phone handy, and enlist help for the heavy-duty work.” Entrance, Windows & Floors – Give your entrance an easy update with a new door or add color and new hardware to your existing one. Install new windows that are attractive, reduce heating and cooling costs, and are easy to maintain. And consider installing a hardwood floor in at least one of your rooms -- possibly the entryway and/or the living/family room. Kitchen & Dining Areas – Apply stain or color to your kitchen cabinets and replace hinges and pulls or knobs to brighten your “home cafe.” If your cabinets have seen better days, install new ones – either storebought or ones you build. For a wood table and chairs, consider using a stain or topcoat to enhance the wood’s appearance or to match the color of your cabinets. Shelving & Lighting – Adding shelving anywhere you have unused space (bedroom/bathroom closets) will help control clutter and provide display space for your favorite photos and collectibles in living room, family room, and kitchen. Enhance cabinets and furniture with new decorative LED lighting. Living/Family Room – Arranging furniture into “areas” will allow for varied activities simultaneously, such as conversation and watching events on television or playing games. Use plants, a bookcase or a divider to separate areas. Paint walls, hang pictures or stain wood furniture to add color.

Handy Helpers from Woodcraft • Rockwell’s 3RILL 12V Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill is perfect for the drilling and driving tasks required to install doors, windows, floors, cabinets, and shelving, as well as your building projects. The tool converts easily from drill to impact driver to screwdriver. • The Milescraft Complete Door Mortise Kit makes it easy to replace interior and exterior doors without damaging the jamb or door frame. • Freeman’s 3 in 1 Flooring Nailer is the go-to tool for installing hardwood flooring. Interchangeable baseplates allow you to install 1/2” to 3/4” naildown flooring. • General Finishes HP Polyurethane is the preferred choice for finishing floors. It is quick curing, UV resistant and urethane tough. • The Little Hand provides a support, brace or clamp whenever you need an extra hand. Use it to mount wall cabinets above a counter or bench. It extends 16.5” to 22.8” and has 6” x 6” universal feet top and bottom for maximum support of cabinets. • General Finishes Gel Stain, available in several colors from prairie wheat to Georgian cherry, combines gel and stain in one product that is easy to apply and can be used over new wood or existing finishes as a glaze or to change or update the look of kitchen cabinets.

• Hafele’s 12V LED Flexible Strip Light and 12V LED Puck Down Light Kits include the essentials to light almost any cabinet or piece of furniture.

combines both inch or metric spaced holes and works with selfcentering drill bits, router guide bushings and plain drill bits (with optional drill guide).

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• The Kreg Jig K4 Master System makes building a breeze. Using the jig, a saw and a drill, you can quickly make strong pockethole joints for all of your projects.

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• General Finishes Milk Paint is popular for furniture and crafts and comes in a variety of colors, such as federal blue, buttermilk yellow and sage green. • The Laurey Windsor line offers attractive knobs and pulls for cabinets and drawers. • The Woodpeckers Combo Shelf Pin Template makes drilling holes for shelf pins easy. It

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