Posts Tagged ‘reedsburg true value hardware’


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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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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Lawn Mower Maintenance

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Seven Steps For Lawn Mower Maintenance

Your lawnmower is an investment that will keep your lawn turning heads-as long as you take care of the engine. Proper lawnmower care is crucial to for smooth performance.

The changing seasons require certain precautions to properly store the lawn mower while it is not in use.

Here are six steps you should take to protect your lawn mower throughout the year:

1. Check the Battery
Recharge the battery throughout the off-season starting the engine from time to time or simply attach the battery to a charger.

2. Check the Fuel
All engines can be damaged by old or deteriorated fuel. In as little as just one month, gasoline can deteriorate damage your lawnmower’s small engine by clogging the carburetor, thus preventing the engine from starting properly. The keep your lawnmower’s engine clean, add a fuel stabilizer each time you fill the tank.

3. Check the Oil
Just like automotive engines, small engines must undergo regular oil changes. Oil lubricates the engine during use, which prevents premature damage. Before starting the lawn mower in the spring, give it an oil change. This is especially important if you did not change the oil before storing it for the winter.

True-value-hardware-store-equipment-rental-center4. Lubricate Moving Parts
The engine is not the only part of your lawn mower that requires proper lubrication. It is a good idea to keep all moving parts, including the wheels and cables, adequately lubricated with oil or grease.

If you still have the owner’s manual, check it for details on properly lubricating moving parts.

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Tips for Feeding Wild Birds in Winter

Friday, February 24th, 2017

cardinalWinter Wild Bird Feeding Tips

Not all birds fly south when it gets cold.

Learn how to feed birds in winter and why birds need an extra food source in the harsh winter weather the most.

Discover which birds will patronize your feeders during the cold months and which foods are their favorites to keep certain birds around all year long.

Feeding birds isn’t just a warm weather hobby. In fact, birds need feeders most, when winter is at it’s harshest.

Not all birds fly south so, permanent residents like chickadees and cardinals are dependable diners season after season.

Wild Bird Feeders and Feeding Tips

Keep your feeders full and get the full value of enjoying a bird’s eye view.

If your backyard is a hot spot for hungry birds in the summer they may become used to your feeder and search it out in the winter.

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Importance of Home Gutter Maintenance

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

home-guttersHow To Prevent Your House Gutters From Getting Damaged

Repairing works are too boring, time-consuming and tiring. You will not prefer to get in the middle of gutter repairing tasks. Gutter repairing is a costly work, but you don’t have any option of not getting them repaired. An important role is played by gutters to keep your home functioning well.

They prevent water from entering your home’s foundations, which avoids water damage inside and on the exterior side of your property. It’s essential to avert harm to the gutters to ensure they’re fit as a fiddle. Gutter cleaning isn’t a fun job to do. However, wherever you’re, it’s necessary to ensure your home’s prosperity. To check how your own gutters are performing, let’s take a look at a few signs that may state the functioning of your gutters coming down from the roof:

Water Leaks – Whenever it downpours, go out for an inspection around your home and check to ensure that water isn’t spilling from your gutters. If you prefer not to go outside in the rain, then you could choose a sunny day, get on your roof, take some water and pour it into the gutters to check the areas where leaks are present.

gutterBroken Gutters – While doing an inspection from the outside, check the drains for holes and cracks from where rain water can escape. Check the joints and the holders that connect the drains to your house. If your gutters look like they’re about to fall off from the roof or walls, then it’s the right time to do the repairing work. It’s better to do this repairing before the rainy season begins.

Ensure you investigate all the territories where you have electrical wires. You need to ensure that there are no breaks or splits in these particular spots in your home.

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Fun Valentines Day Family Activities

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

valentineFun Family Activities For Valentines Day

February 14th is a day that many people look forward to, no matter what their age. Valentines’ Day is a day to show your love to one another, whether it be romantic, friendly, or family love. I’m sure you all have memories of Valentines’ Day with those whom you love, and if you have a family of your own it should not be any different. Your family can spend Valentines’ Day together through fun activities that show how much you love each other.

In order to get your children in the mood of Valentines’ Day, you can have them wear red and pink clothes that they already have. You can help them decorate their outfits with belts and hearts and ribbons. You can even paint your daughter’s nails with red and pink polish. Sew in heart button slips. Just cut hearts and slit them the same size as the slits of your outfit and the buttons will be in place with hearts surrounding them.

chocolate-valentines-dayLove letters are not only used for those who are courting each other, but they can also be used for family members. You can leave them in different places like mirrors, cupboards, or in their bags.

You can also leave roses and chocolates along with it. It will be their first valentine for that day, and they will surely appreciate the effort you put into making them feel loved. Your family will know that they will always have at least one valentine every year, and that will be you. You will always have them to be your Valentine too.

breakfastAt breakfast, you can make a special Valentines’ Day breakfast for your family. You can cut out hearts and place them on the table setting along with ribbons and flowers. The breakfast can be made up of heart-shaped foods like pancakes or waffles or even French toast. You can use a mold or you can cut them into hearts with a cookie cutter or freestyle it with a knife.

If you make lunch for your children and/or spouse, you can make their lunch a little bit more special today by cutting their sandwich into a heart shape with a large cookie cutter and serving heart-shaped sugar cookies. You can also leave a bit more of dessert as well with chocolates kisses and other sweets.

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Ceramic Tile Flooring Care

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

ceramic-tile-floor-careHow To Keep Your Ceramic Tile Floor Clean & Attractive

A wonderful artistic ceramic tile floor can be a magnificent display to any home. Not just does it include a feeling of style and modern sophistication to a room, it is also strong and durable.

To ensure that the ceramic tile floor keeps looking as attractive as the day it was first installed, you should be aware with the right techniques to clean it.

Here are a few steps that will help you to keep the beauty and attraction of your ceramic tile floor intact.

1. Brisk Cleaning

You may think that it’s helpful to keep a towel or dry wipe close to any passage/doors to instantly clean up soil that comes in on your ceramic tile floor from shoes. Similarly, spills need to likewise be wiped up as fast as it’s possible for you. If you allow the dirt and spills to settle down by not cleaning it quickly soil, the more troublesome it will become to clean the floor later. If you delay the cleaning work, then any trash that settles down between the tiles will try to make a permanent home in that place.

tile-grout-cleaning2. Follow A Maintenance Schedule

To ensure that your floor stays shiny, attractive and spotless as much as possible, you need to perform the cleaning works on time. A soft and effective mop that can be washed and re-utilised is a better choice over numerous different mops, as it will be more equipped to clean in the middle of the tiles and cleaning those difficult to reach areas. Put aside a particular day every week to mop and wash your ceramic tile floor. If you wait for the time to clean tiles when it becomes dirty, then you’ll find it really difficult to get rid of stubborn stains and won’t be able to get excellent results.

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Outdoor Christmas Lighting Tips

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

holiday-lightsWhat You Should Know About Outdoor Christmas Lights

Fun, food, family, gifts and tangled Christmas lights are all things associated with the Christmas season.

The Christmas tree is always fun to put up and decorate and as a rule it is simple, however the outside of your office or home is not always so easy and can often be dangerous. You need to know which lights are approved as outdoor Christmas lights or you may face power issues, injury or destruction of property.

There are specific strands that are designated as Outdoor Christmas lights and these are the safest choice for decorating your home or office. These lights are manufactured to be water resistant and put off a lot more light. You should know though that hanging your outdoor Christmas lights will be a bit more complicated than you inside lights will.

led-holiday-lightsThere are many things to keep in mind when hanging your Christmas lighting, and safety is one of the most important.

Many people make a grave mistake when hanging outdoor Christmas lights by using a staple gun to secure them. There are several reasons this is a bad idea!

The first problem is of course your metal staple may cut through the wiring, and if you are hanging them while they are on you could be shocked.

Another problem is causing a short in the wiring, which can cause the lights to quit or even catch fire! It is better to use the special hangers designed for holding outdoor Christmas lights, you can find these most places that lights are sold.

Of course do not forget that you will likely need to use a ladder while putting up your lights, make sure your ladder is secure and someone is watching out for you, remember the only thing that will break your fall is frozen ground!

You will need to measure the distance between your available outlet and your Christmas lights. Some outdoor Christmas lighting require a lot of power and your indoor outlet may not be enough to support them. You will be much better served to have an outdoor outlet installed by a professional.

Once you have an outlet in place make sure your lights will reach. With a little planning, you can actually have fun hanging your lights this year.

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Top Christmas Holiday Cleaning Tips

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

true-value-hardware-holiday-safety-tipsTop Cleaning Hacks for the Christmas Season

As the Christmas season approaches, you may be thinking about getting your house perfectly clean ready for your family and friends to visit. We’d all love to have professional household staff to keep our homes looking amazing, but sometimes this isn’t possible.

Whether you’re simply hosting Christmas lunch or are having guests stay with you for an extended period of time, you’ll want your home to look its best. But this time of year is busy, and expensive. So, if you’re short on time and cash, here are some great DIY tips to quickly and cheaply clean your house for Christmas.

bathroom remodeling tips by Martens Reedsburg True ValueBathrooms
Showers and baths

Get rid of lime scale with just two ingredients by combining white vinegar and dish soap in a spray bottle. Apply liberally to the shower or bath and then wipe. You’ll see the area become sparkling white and clean before your eyes.

Walls

You might have noticed that bathroom walls get very dusty very easily. If you’ve noticed, your guests certainly will. It can be hard to get this ‘fluff’ off with a cloth, and can risk ruining your paint. A great alternative is to keep a duster or hand-held hoover near your bathroom to collect dust off the walls, sink and any other area necessary.

Mirrors

A unlikely solution to dirty mirrors is black tea. The tannic acid in the tea is great for getting rid of streaky marks and water splash, so brew some tea and use a lint-free cloth to wipe over your mirror. You’ll see the results in seconds.

Toilets

One way to ensure your bathroom stays fresh throughout any guests’ stay is using DIY toilet ‘pods’. Combine baking soda, vinegar and tea tree oil and place the mixture in an ice cube tray in the freezer. Then just drop these in throughout the holidays, give it a little scrub with the toilet brush, and it’s like new. Alka Seltzer tablets also make a quick alternative.

kitchen-cleaning-holiday-tipsThe kitchen
Sinks

Citrus and baking soda is a fail-safe cleaner for any sink area, including stainless steel. Make a bowl of baking soda and simply dip a halved lemon or lime in it, then get scrubbing.

Pots and pans

If you want to get your pots and pans gleaming after cooking Christmas dinner, look to your fruit bowl! Place some apple peel in the pans you want to clean with water and simmer for half an hour. Once done, the pan will be a breeze to clean, even if it had a grease build up before.

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Find The Spirit of Christmas

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

christmas-tree-decoratingFind The Spirit of Christmas That You Once Had

Every year the Christmas season comes earlier. It used to be that we put up our outside Christmas lights on the last weekend of November. Shortly after, we gradually transformed the inside of our house with Christmas decorations. This culminated with the purchase of a real pine tree, which we decorated shortly before Christmas, at times as late as Christmas Eve. The earliest that we went to get our tree was a couple of weeks before Christmas.

Nowadays the stores are putting out Christmas decorations and beginning to play Christmas music in late October, prior to Halloween, something that was unheard of in the past. The lengthening of the Christmas season is definitely a marketing construction designed to extend the shopping spree that Christmas has become.

Unfortunately I find myself overwhelmed with the long duration of Christmas and I find it difficult to really enjoy Christmas the way that I used to. Between the hectic chores of shopping for gifts, finishing work projects and meeting family obligations it is getting increasingly difficult to sit back, relax and enjoy the season.

Often the times reserved for Christmas family celebrations, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, involve last-minute shopping, cooking, cleaning, gift wrapping and traveling and therefore they become a blur of hurried stress.

christmas-spirit-tree-lightsMore and more I have found that my personal Christmas, those few moments of complete peace and contentment, fall outside of family gatherings and official Christmas events that I must attend. Sometimes it happens while I am driving around in my car looking at Christmas light displays and listening to Christmas music. It may come during an impromptu visit to a friend’s house or when someone unexpectedly drops in on me. Often it happens in the middle of a concert or Christmas pageant at my local church. Almost always it happens spontaneously.

But what if that moment does not arrive on its own? Are there ways to create that special Christmas moment and rekindle the Christmas spirit that seems to be lacking in a lot of people’s lives nowadays? Yes there is! Here are just a few suggestions of things that have worked for me to bring back the Christmas feeling that I had in my youth:

- Spend time with someone who might be feeling lonely, such as a widow or widower, or someone whose family lives far away. Go for a coffee or even dinner or bring some baking to their home and spend some time with them. This will not only provide them with some much-needed company but you will undoubtedly be giving yourself a taste of the real Christmas spirit that you were seeking.

christmas-cookies-gingerbread- Buy a couple of bags of groceries for the local food bank or for a personal friend. One Christmas I did this and I made an amazing discovery. As I walked the aisles and chose items especially with my friend in mind and according to her tastes, not mine, I experienced the purest joy that I felt that entire Christmas.

- Visit a local greenhouse where festive plants are on display and don’t be in a rush. Just calmly stroll along and pause to take in all of the sights and aromas.

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