There are plenty of options for deck or patio shade, but shade sails offer a charmingly unique and practical solution. Not only do they provide quality sun protection, but these breathable and water-resistant solutions complement any outdoor space for gorgeous and functional outdoor décor. In order to get the most out of your shade cover, you need to use it properly! Check out these 8 tips for a long-lasting backyard shade solution.
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Aside from your home, your car is probably one of your most expensive and valuable investments. Without proper protection, you expose that investment to weather damage, premature aging, and other risks that contribute to car depreciation. In order to prevent such risks, quality coverage such as garages or keeping vehicles under carports are essential. Check out these 5 ways your car be...
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The summer season offers warm weather, outdoor fun, and plenty of backyard barbecues and chances to put your fire pit to use all season long. But what about your firewood supply for winter? You may not be thinking about preparing for the snowy season just yet, but fresh firewood should be taken care of sooner rather than later. Determine when you should be seasoning firewood in order to guarantee plenty of safe and efficient fires year-round.
Why Do You Need to Season Firewood?Freshly cut or “green” firewood retains up to 45% or more of its moisture content. Too much moisture prevents firewood from burning properly, making it difficult to light, sustain, or effectively produce warmth. Further, burning wet firewood also increases smoke and creosote buildup that may threaten your home and health. Too much smoke and creosote greatly increase the risk of a home fire, while overexposure potentially contributes to respiratory damage, eye injury, and more. In order to enjoy safe and quality fires at home, firewood needs to be sufficiently dry. Seasoning firewood simply means airing out your pile in order to dry wood and bring the moisture content down to 20% or less. With less moisture, energy is spent actually burning the wood as opposed to drying it first, allowing for more successful, safe, and efficient fires.
When Should You Season Firewood?When it comes to seasoning firewood, the sooner the better. On average, it takes about 6 months to a year for freshly cut wood to effectively dry. However, seasoning time is largely dependent on location, wood species, original moisture content, length of logs, and other variables. But more likely than not, if you haven’t already, now’s the time to start! In order to be ready for winter, begin the seasoning process in the spring or early summer. This provides a sufficient overall drying time. And, the refreshing spring breeze and the hot summer sun will further help firewood effectively dry. And, if you utilize a few techniques and tools, burnable firewood is guaranteed just in time for the frigid season.
Tips for Seasoning FirewoodTo improve seasoning efficiency, use these techniques and tools to ensure thoroughly dried firewood.
Pick a good spot.For fast seasoning, expose your open pile to as much sunlight, heat, and airflow as possible. Place pile in an open space and avoid leaning it against your home as this not only blocks sunlight and airflow, but allows insects and unwanted pests easier access into your home.
Stack your pile strategically.In order to ensure optimal airflow throughout your entire pile, strategize your stacking technique. Split wood in advance, alternate directions between rows, and keep your pile off the ground. A properly stacked and protected pile helps firewood season and dry effectively. And, efficiently stacking your pile further prevents mold, wood decay, and insect or mice infestation.
Utilize Firewood Storage Solutions and Seasoning Sheds.To effectively avoid mold or pests and maximize seasoning time, consider using one of these firewood storage solutions:
- Firewood storage racks keep your supply off the ground, away from your home, and effectively protected from excess moisture. Options such as the ShelterLogic 12 ft. Ultra Duty Firewood Rack boast a 6600 lb load, protecting up to a ¾ cord of wood for a durable large-scale firewood storage solution. With a high-quality adjustable polyester fabric cover, firewood gets just enough coverage to seal out rain without cutting off air circulation. Or, utilize options such as the Arrow Firewood Rack for convenient and compact firewood storage. These all-steel solutions resist corrosion, offer easy DIY assembly, and come in multiple color options to complement any building exterior.
- Firewood seasoning sheds cut seasoning time in half to provide ready-to-use firewood faster and more efficiently than ever before. These innovative and portable solutions feature a strong heavy duty steel frame for reliable strength and durability. ...
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Want to get the most out of your garden this year? Find out more about intensive gardening for a highly efficient, productive, and manageable growing season.
What’s Intensive Gardening?Intensive gardening requires implementing time-saving and space-saving gardening techniques in order to maximize growing results. This includes planting in more manageable spaces, utilizing organic matter, distinct plant organization, and more that we’ll get into soon. With intensive gardening, you can grow more food in less space while protecting and increasing the quality of your plants. You also potentially decrease weeds, minimize resources, and allow for a non-stop growing season from start to finish.
Intensive Gardening LayoutsTypically, gardeners plant in long, single rows in order to maintain crops and keep produce organized. However, these single lines don’t necessarily optimize your gardening space. Dispersed plant rows take up more room, often produce more weeds, and cause the soil to dry out faster. Instead of placing seedlings in rows, intensive gardening involves utilizing space-saving techniques in order to efficiently grow in a concentrated area. See more on these intensive gardening methods: Companion planting example: plant flowers and vegetables in one compact area in order to save space and resources. (Source: HouzBuzz)
Companion Planting.Certain seedling combinations either promote (or diminish) plant growth. Companion planting, or interplanting, allows you to maximize results by pairing certain crops together in your smaller space. By planting certain vegetables, fruits, or herbs side by side, you can effectively repel unwanted pests, minimize weeds, and even enhance the flavor of your produce! When choosing plant pairs, thoroughly understand which companion planting combos work best. Understand both plants' optimal growing season, duration, pattern (tall, short, above or below ground), as well as light, nutrient, and moisture requirements. Alternate between long-season and short-season crops and try to plant small shade-tolerant species under taller crops. Ultimately, choose plants that protect and enhance each other’s growth in order to maximize time, space, and results.
Succession Planting.Succession planting offers a non-stop harvest as long as possible. After one crop is ready, another is planted in the same place. This requires a little extra planning in order to accommodate for every plant’s peak growing season. However, it greatly maximizes your yield for the year. Create a planting schedule, choose the right varieties (this relates back to companion planting), and strategically utilize your designated planting space to amplify results throughout the entire season. By utilizing all available soil space in your garden at all times, you guarantee a more productive and fruitful harvest.
Tools and Necessities
Raised Garden Beds.When intensive gardening, you must ensure your soil contains sufficient nutrients and water for competing plants to get what they need. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to make soil amendments when planting in the deep and compacted ground. Raised garden beds provide the ideal growing environment for plants, especially when incorporating intensive gardening. These compact units allow you to effectively adjust your soil to ensure plants maintain the right pH and contain all the basic nutrients needed for a flourishing garden. Focus on directly providing plants with quality water and specific organic materials so you never waste resources on unplanted ground space. Raised beds help also avoid the hassles of soil compaction, frozen ground, weeds, and more.
PRO TIP:Want more temperature control over plants to achieve even faster results? Attach a GrowIT Raised Bed Greenhouse to your raised bed for optimal airflow, diffused sunlight, and UV protection over plants. The GrowIT also helps prevent over-heating, so plants require less water and attention for more efficient gardening.
Compost or Organic Matter...As mentioned previously, soil maintenance and contro
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Tarp buildings provide reliable, portable, and versatile storage space. With easy-to-assemble yet durable materials, these structures offer convenient storage you can count on virtually anywhere. Not only that, but with proper care and minimal upkeep, you can easily re-purpose your tarp building for a number of uses. Find out how to get the most out of your fabric shed and maximize your investment for a long-lasting structure with these simple maintenance tips.
Start with Proper AssemblyFirst and foremost, proper assembly is crucial for ensuring a sturdy and safe storage structure. When erected over a flat, level surface away from other existing structures, you help guarantee stability while avoiding potential risks such as snow or accumulated debris falling from one structure onto the roof of your fabric building. Also, choose a spot with sufficient drainage to further prevent moisture accumulation in and around your tarp shed. As you assemble, ensure bolts are secure on your frame and your cover is taut to resist tearing due to heavy winds and inclement weather. See our manuals page for complete assembly instructions to all our tarp buildings.
PRO TIP: Proper assembly requires anchoring your structure. Check out our accessories page and choose the best anchor based on ground material and structural needs in order to secure your structure and meet wind and snow load expectations.
Care & CleaningAs mentioned earlier, keeping a tight cover greatly reduces the risk of tears. Always maintain a properly fitted cover and keep your roof clear of snow or excess debris. When removing snow from your shelter, use soft instruments such as a dull edged broom or mop. Avoid using hard-edged tools like rakes or shovels so you don’t accidentally puncture your cover. To clean your tarp building, simply use mild soap and water. Do not use bleach or harsh abrasive products. Remove snow from the base of your shed to avoid mold or mildew spots at the bottom of your cover or rust to your frame.
PRO TIP: Avoid moisture or condensation inside your shelter by purchasing a vent kit. This ensures a cool and dry interior to keep your cover and valuables inside safe from damage.
Replacement CoversWhile our tarp buildings consist of quality fabric meant to last, many seasons of use can wear down your shelter cover. Instead of buying an entirely new unit, simply replace your cover to extend the lifespan of your original tarp building. Or, invest in a replacement cover if you’re looking to equip your building with higher-quality weather protection. Our replacement cover kits come in multiple weights and strength options to maximize coverage capabilities. Contact us to find out if you’re eligible for a stronger replacement cover.
PRO TIP: Don’t want to replace your entire cover due to a small rip just yet? No problem. A common fabric patch or vinyl patch kit can be used with adhesive spray for a quick fix.
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There’s nothing quite like fresh, home-grown produce. Fruits and vegetables right from your garden can guarantee delicious, highly nutritious, and completely organic* food for you and your family. However, different vegetables require unique growing guidelines in order to offer a bountiful harvest. Understanding when to plant vegetables can help you enjoy fresh garden greens all year long.
Important Factors that Determine When to Plant Vegetables...
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Happy spring! In our recent Early Spring Gardening Tips blog, we recommend a few great tools to help you start planting as soon as possible and extend your growing season. One innovative item mentioned is the raised bed greenhouse (or mini-greenhouse). Here, we’ll explain in more detail the benefits to these structures, what you can plant in them, and more.
What’s a Raised Bed Greenhouse and Why Sho...
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Why Do You Need a Clean Hearth...Few things are better than evenings spent around a toasty fireplace during the frigid winter months. But what happens when your hearth hasn’t had a good cleaning in a while? Sparking fire after fire without cleaning or maintaining your fireplace not only aesthetically affects your hearth, but can also be quite dangerous. Consistent use causes creosote buildup, putting your health and home at risk. This oily, black substance is an accumulation of smoke, wood, tar, a
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Car shelters are your vehicles' first line of defense against the elements. They come in many different sizes and price ranges, providing you with a variety of choices to find the perfect car shelter for your needs. If you aren’t sure which car shelter is right for you; here are 5 basic tips to help you decide the best vehicle storage that’s suitable for your storage needs.
Why Do You Need Car Shelter?Car shelters provide an adequate storage space for your vehicle, either short-term or long-term. There are also a lot of added benefits depending on your weather situation. With a car shelter, keep your vehicle protected from something as small as accumulated dirt to problematic inclement weather. Some car shelters can help you worry less about protecting your vehicle from snow, while others are made to block harmful UV rays from deteriorating your investment.
Tip #1: Know What You want to Store Before You Shop.It may not come as a surprise, but our first tip is to identify what you’re looking to store. Do you need storage for one or two vehicles? Car shelters can accommodate multiple vehicles depending on size. For instance, some portable garages... are greater than 20ft. long, helping you not only shelter multiple vehicles, but act as additional storage. You’ll also need to consider how much movement you want in your car shelter. Will you have enough room to open the doors of your vehicle? Is there enough clearance space? Answer questions like these t