Pest Removal: Groundhogs or Woodchucks

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

woodchuck-groundhog-repellentGroundhog Removal

A groundhog belongs to a big group of ground squirrels called marmots, of which there are fifteen species. They are often referred to as whistle pigs, land, beavers, or woodchucks.

Groundhogs extensively burrow and primarily eat vegetation. Because of these two factors they are consider a big garden pest. If left alone, a groundhog family could very easy eat a food crop in a short amount of time.

If it appears that there is an infestation, or the start of an infestation it is imperative to get rid of them.

There are many ways to do away with groundhogs. All gardeners have their own preferred method. Some want to do away with them humanely without resorting to killing them.

Others just want them gone efficiently and quickly. After you get rid of the groundhog, it is necessary that you watch out for a reappearance of a groundhog population.

If it does not bother you using chemicals in your mission to do away with the groundhog, a relative humane way to do so is by using ammonia. It is a quick-acting way to get a groundhog to move away.

It may sound brutal and inhumane but if you handle it correctly, the groundhog inhabitants will move away without having to kill them. The way it works is by causing their burrows to be distasteful to them. With a distasteful burrow, they will journey on their own to another area of land away from the garden.

To use the ammonia method you want to wait until you have sunny days and warm temperatures, usually summer or spring. Otherwise, you will not get the groundhog to leave their burrow.

If you can find it buy some cloudy or sudsy ammonia but if you cannot find it make your own. Use one part water with seven parts ammonia along with a couple of tablespoons of dish or laundry detergent and mix.

Spray it around the entrance and just inside their borrow. Once the smell gets into the burrow, they will depart in a couple of days, unless they have babies. In this case, they will leave find another burrow. Once the parents are settled, they will return for their babies. This could take several days.

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You Need the Right Tool for the Job

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

power-tools-drill-bitsChoosing the Right Tool for the Right Job

You would not try to split a 10 inch diameter log with a hatchet instead of an ax.

By the same token you would not want to try to drill a 3/4 inch hole in cement with a standard 1/4 drill.

You hear people all the time bad mouthing a particular tool because it did not work well when the real problem was the user. They did not choose the right tool for the job at hand.

Most tools, if not all, were made for a specific range of jobs to perform. When you try to use it beyond the range it was made and designed for, you start having problems. Then it is human nature to blame the tool or the manufacturer when the fault really lies with the person using it.

electric-drillThere are always exceptions in tool usage as well as in all other walks of life.

For example, I have a 1/4 inch standard electric drill that I have owned for twenty plus years. I have used it for everything from drilling a one inch hole in cement and metal to driving a # twelve four inch screw into hard wood and it still works fine. It was and still is an exceptional tool. With the beating I gave it, it should have failed long ago but it is one of the exceptions we come across in life. There is no answer for it.

All manufacturers of tools will have specifications on their tools such as amperage, RPM, size, weight, capacity and etc., etc. They are there for a purpose, to help us choose the tool we need. In a lot of cases price is the determining factor when we buy and not what the item was designed for.

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Add Curb Appeal with a Simple DIY Project

Monday, June 5th, 2017

walkwayDIY Patio Projects That Will Add Major Curb Appeal

If you’ve seen the albums on decorating and landscaping sites, you know how much a walkway or a canopy can bring together your backyard. Luckily, many of these home and gardening staples are easy to do yourself.

If you have a shovel, a hammer, a saw, and an afternoon, you can finish one of these projects.

Walkway

Having a paved walkway from your back door to your patio brings a certain elegance to your backyard. With the advent of pavers, you don’t have to ruin your back placing and leveling hundreds of bricks in order to make this dream a reality. Depending on how long you want the walkway, you might only need a few pavers to complete the project. You can choose from several different interesting stone varieties to bring visual interest to your space.

Canopy

A canopy is a great way to bring some shade, keeping your family or guests cool during the summer months. Canopies can range from intricate architectural pieces to simple canvas-and-pole designs.

For the latter example, four poles or beams driven into the ground and a piece of thick, water-resistant canvas are all you need. You can attach the canvas to the poles using a hammer and nails, or you can peruse your local hardware store for rings, tacks, or ties to create a unique hanger.

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Patio Decorating Ideas

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

outdoor-patio-waterfallPatio Decorating – Ten Simple Patio Decorating Ideas

When Mother Nature begins to warm, thoughts of outdoor entertaining, including B-B-Qs, poolside parties, lunch (or brunch) on the patio, tend to get us thinking of decorating ideas, specifically deck or patio decorating ideas. Decorating doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor to spruce up an outdoor patio; a few simple changes can do the trick without breaking the bank.

With a plethora of decorating magazines on the stands, interior/exterior decorating websites and design blogs, it’s easy to want more than what the budget will allow. So it is always a good idea, as you formulate decorating ideas for a patio, to determine what your budget can afford.

patio-decorating-seatingAs you assess the outdoor area in need of a makeover create a list of things that need attention. For example, is the patio furniture looking a bit tattered? Are decorative plants healthy and thriving? What patio decor items could be added or replaced?

Maybe a coat of fresh paint to outside walls or a trellis with climbing vines to make an unattractive area more appealing.

Reviewing visual resources such as garden and patio magazines and interior design websites can help generate ideas; use photos to assemble a theme or style suited to your desired effect.

If you, a friend or a family member, have a talent for crafty work, do-it-yourself (DYI) instructions are readily available for almost every type of patio, or deck, decorating project such as an in-ground pond or water fountain, a stone path or a mosaic tile table top. The options are endless. It helps to have a general plan before you begin to keep the entire project manageable.

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The Health Benefits of Gardening

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

The Many Health Benefits of Gardening

Spring is in the air. And when spring is on the horizon, many of us are aching to get out and plant a garden.

In the interim, there are a lot of garden shows and seeds that we can buy to plan our ultimate garden outside. Spring is such a hopeful time of year.

But did you know that gardening had a lot of health benefits too. When we are out in nature to garden, we get to commune with nature and we get to feel so much better about ourselves and about life in general. Many times, our problems just melt away, and we release a lot of feel good endorphins.

But there are more benefits than this even. In this article I will outline some of these benefits of gardening in more detail so that you can also get urge to start planning your garden earlier this year than ever.

So, without further ado, here are the known benefits of gardening.

• When you plant your seeds in the ground and watch them grow, you have a sense of achievement and accomplishment. This can help you to feel better and more motivated.

• You will weed out negative thoughts. As you are weeding your garden, you can think of your negative thoughts just like weeds that you can get rid of. And as you pull out your weeds, imagine weeding your negative thoughts one at a time. This will help you feel better overall and less depressed.

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How to Start a Vegetable Garden

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

vegetable-gardenStart a Vegetable Garden Today

Spring Fever!

Kick up your heels, the sun is finally shining! Get out and smell the flowers and dig in the earth and grow your dinner and your breakfast too!

It’s easy to grow your own organic food and beat the high prices, for free. You can also grow beautiful flowers. Spring is the time to start.

The first step to growing your garden is to find a good spot with at least 6 hours of direct sun. Next, visualize your dream garden and imagine all your favorite vegetables. Then make a garden plan. Finally prepare your garden beds and plant your garden!

garden-vegetablesGarden Plan:

So what goes into a garden plan? What do you like to eat most and what will grow well in your location? Every good plan will consist of:

* A list of your favorite garden vegetables and flowers

* Garden bed layout: type, shape and placement of your garden beds and perennial plants

* First and last frost dates

* Compost Area

* Water system

* Optional – green house or cold frame

raised-garden-bedsAll these elements will interrelate and enhance each other, creating a fine-looking garden. Draw out a plan and order your seeds! Although gardening is flexible and always growing, having a solid plan in place first will help you avoid frustration and give you a good start.

You can draw out your plans by hand or use some of the new on-line garden planning programs. I have been having fun working with an on-line planner this season for the first time. I have always done my garden planning on paper and there was always lots of erasing, changes and rough drafts.

Making garden plans used to be an unpleasant and messy chore for me. Now I am having fun using an on-line gardening tool for making my garden plan, and changing it and playing around as much as I want in just seconds. Once you have a good plan and a list of all your favorite veggies’ it is time to order your seeds or buy some from your local nursery or feed store.

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For a Healthy Lawn Don’t Shred Your Grass!

Friday, May 5th, 2017

lawn-mowingAre You Cutting Your Grass or Shredding It?

Have you ever had your mower blade checked to ensure it is sharp enough to cut your grass correctly? Did you know that a dull mower blade can cause severe damage to grass which can lead to greater turf maintenance costs and requirements? Hopefully you’ve answered “Yes!” to the above questions, please, read on!

Regardless of how sharp you keep you mower blade, every time you mow the grass the blade is put through a period of “shock” from the cutting. When a blade of grass is severed, the remaining grass plant must go through a period of healing to seal the cut.

healthy-grass-lawnA sharp blade cuts cleanly through the grass and leaves a nice, straight slice, which minimizes the shock to the plant and the time required for healing. On the other hand, a dull blade will basically shred the grass. Even though the grass is “cut,” it’s shredded, ripped, and severely torn, which causes the grass plant to endure an extended period of healing and water loss. Not to mention, a greater risk of becoming infected or infested with microbes or insects. A grass plant that endures a nice, clean slice is far less likely to suffer prolonged damage or disease.

lawn-mower-bladeIf you’re handy with tools and know your way around a mower, sharpening your own blade isn’t that difficult. Many retail locations sell a sharpening grinding stone designed specifically for mower blades. You can also purchase a tool that will hold the blade in place when you are removing the bolt that secures the blade to the engine shaft. Use a permanent marker or awl to mark the bottom of the blade before you remove it. And, safety first, which means always removing the spark plug wire from the spark plug before doing anything under or around the mower!

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Great Tips for Spring Cleaning

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Best Spring Cleaning Tips For A Clean House Year Round

The time of year you either love, or hate. Spring cleaning has always been the same since the idea started: the time to do the things you are too lazy to do more than once a year. But, some actually love doing spring cleaning and the things it entails. Some may even not have a spring cleaning because they just do these things as they see it needing to be done.

I commend those people, for I absolutely, without a doubt, hate deep cleaning. But over the years I have had to learn that it isn’t about loving it or hating it – its about standard of living. I refuse to live in a dirty house, so it must be done.

If you haven’t thought of any, here are some ultimate spring cleaning tips to consider.

pressure-washing-deckPressure wash

Nobody gives pressuring washing enough credit anymore. Plus, nobody thinks that the outside of the house needs to stay clean. I mean, that is why they call it the outside for a reason. Let nature do its thing. But nature also brings bacteria, mold, and bugs when you don’t want it. This amazing machine can do so much you wouldn’t think of to sanitize and clean the outside of your house.

Pressure wash the outside surface of your house to remove mold/mildew build up, cob webs, bee/wasp hives, and pollen/allergens. Pressure wash your driveway for curb appeal, the back patio and pool deck, the fence or even the outside of your car for a quick clean.

And these babies aren’t that expensive either, so easy to use with a hose hookup, and is actually fun to use if you like the satisfaction of watching dirty surfaces just melt away (I know I do!) It just depends on how powerful of one you want, and whether gas or electric. I have just a mid grade, light duty electric one that you can find here.

Move and clean under all large furniture

Like your bedroom furniture, couch, etc. So many allergens, hair and dust that has traveled from vacuuming around them and from the air vents throughout your house has them settle in these areas. Plus, bugs find their resting places here, and that’s the last thing you want to think you’re sleeping over at night.

Plus, you never know what junk, food and missing things is hiding under large, heavy pieces of furniture. Cleaning under small, trapped areas can relieve bacterial causing odors as well.

Microfiber/Old Tees instead of sponges

Throughout the year you will go out and buy more sponges than you can count. You probably use them for dishes, scrubbing the shower, tub, and counter tops. Sponges aren’t cheap, if you think about the number of uses you get out of one, and how many come in a pack. They hold so much bacteria, as their job is to that rightfully so, but then they eventually pile up and stay there after time and then you just spread them around your house.

I throw my sponges out after two weeks, clean in the dishwasher in between, and still depending on the duty it was used for I might just throw them out after one use.

microfiber-cleaning-clothsBut then I learned about the Microfiber cloths. Now, I know what you’re thinking: what is the difference if either one gets the job done? I’m not going to change my habit of sponges for a piece of fabric. This is all true, but in fact, microfiber is great for cleaning because they are more absorbent and have a positive charge, which attracts negatively charged dirt, germs, grime and grease – and this is without any cleaner used! The only downfall to these is that you will need to wash them separately or with lighter loads since they do attract dirt and hair very easily.

So you can use these for just about everything you do around the house: washing and drying dishes, wiping down counter tops, dusting surfaces, cleaning the windows, wiping down the shower, tub or toilet, or spot treating the floors. Ultimately, they’re long lasting and inexpensive – keeping your house bacteria and germ free as you use them without spreading them.

Another thing you could do – if you have unwanted, stained or old T-shirts – is to cut up pieces to use for dusting, polishing wood furniture, cleaning windows and for light clean ups. They’re as easy as throwing in the wash and can be reused several times for tasks such as those.

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Best Rated Outdoor Gas Grills

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Get Ready for Outdoor Cooking and Summer BBQ’s with a New Gas Grill from Reedsburg True Value

Stop by Martens True Value in Reedsburg today for best selection of in-stock Outdoor Grills or Shop Online for Gas Grills with Free Shipping to your local True Value Store.

char-broil-tru-infrared-gas-grillChar-Broil Performance Tru-Infrared 450, 3 Burner Gas Grill, With 10,000 BTU Side Burner, 450 SQ IN Of Primary Cooking & 150 SQ IN Of Secondary Cooking Space, Top Ported Burners, Surefire Electronic Ignition, Enclosed Cabinet With Doors, Easy Read Lid Mounted Temperature Gauge, 4 Casters, 2 Locking, Offer Easy Mobility.

CHAR-BROIL model # 463371316-DI item # 202668 – $299.99 – Online price. In-store price & availability may vary.
This item is available to Ship-to-Store only. FREE Shipping to: MARTENS REEDSBURG TRUE VALUE, Reedsburg WI (Will arrive in store in 3 to 8 business days.)
grill-zone-gas-grillGrill Zone 4 burner stainless steel grill, 48,000 btu main burners with 12,000 btu side burner, 691 sqin total cooking area, 4 stainless steel burners, stainless steel, double wall lid with powder coated endcaps, porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates, porcelain enamel flame tamers, stainless steel control panel, side shelves & doors, integrated control knob peizo ignition, four 3″ casters, 2 locking, 5 year warranty for the stainless steel main burners, 1 year warranty for the other parts.
GRILL ZONE model # BG2724B item # 204380-
SALE $269.00 – Online price. In-store price & availability may vary. See if this item is on sale at your local store.
FREE Shipping to: MARTENS REEDSBURG TRUE VALUE
Reedsburg WI
  (Will arrive in store in 3 to 8 business days.)

How to Avoid Painting Disasters

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

home-painting-tipsHow to Paint a Room Quickly and Problem-Free

In most cases painting a room is a fairly simple task, even for the most inexperienced people. Depending on the size of the room, painting the whole room can take only a few hours, a full day, or even days on end.

However there are some techniques and methods you must learn before beginning to paint which will greatly speed up the process.

Furthermore, you will need to learn how to make the job as problem free as possible, and learn how to avoid any ‘painting disasters’.

To begin, let’s go through the tools and items you will need before you begin the paint job.

house-painterEssential Tools and Items For Painting

The most obvious tool you are going to need for a paint job, is a paint brush – of course. Paint brushes come in many different forms and sizes, but as in this case you are painting a room, a large paintbrush should do fine. Although having a smaller one for some of the corners and more precise parts of the wall would be beneficial.

The next most essential tool you will need is a paint roller. If you have never used or seen one of these before, it is a large roll with a handle which you dip into paint, and then roll across the wall back and forth. A paint roller makes painting one hundred times easier and quicker, and unless you want to spend ages painting the wall, you are going to need a paint roller. When you buy a paint roller you should also get a tray as well where you would pour some of the paint into.

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Bounce House Party Planning

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

bounce-house-inflatable-rentalPlanning a Bounce House Party

The kids will be jumping with anticipation for the party when they receive bounce house invitations! From fill-ins to professionally printed invitations, you are sure to find a great option to accommodate any budget. Invitation designer, SanLori offers fill-in bounce house invitations and matching fill-in thank you notes with festive balloon accents. They also offer an adorable die-cut version that is cut in the shape of an actual bounce house!

You can personalize this die-cut invite using your ink jet or laser printer or have the invitations professionally printed by an online invitation store. You will be sure to set the celebratory tone with these bounce house invitations!

hello kitty-bounce-houseMany companies offer to rent bounce houses and slides that can be set up in your yard, and many even offer their own venue that includes multiple bounce structures all in one place! Depending on the children’s age and ability level, you can rent a basic bounce house or bounce slide, and the older kids would surely “jump” at the chance to use a bouncy obstacle course! If the weather is warm, also think about renting a “slip n’ slide” water slide to cool the kids off from the summer heat!

Decorate your house or the party room with colorful balloons and streamers to continue the happy, bouncy theme. For party favors, hand out colorful stickers, bouncy balls, and fun colored or patterned socks that the kids can use when they’re playing in the bounce houses!

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Spring Projects Sale

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Spring Projects Sale Going on Now at Reedsburg True Value

Got lawn and garden projects to complete?

Save money on spring project essentials like Scotts® 4-Step® Lawncare Program, Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil and more during the Spring Project Sale!

Got more spring projects? Visit Martens True Value Hardware store in Reedsburg and let our experts help you with the products and advice you need to get the job done right!

Spring Projects Sale Going on Now!

Enjoy saving on purchases at the Reedsburg True Value’s Online Store with FREE Ship to Store option and other offers!

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