Mowing Tips

The basic rule is to under-mow rather than over-mow. Leave the new grass until it is as least 6cm high before mowing. Ensure the mower blades are sharp and remove no more than one third of the grass length the first time. Thereafter, gradually lower the blades.

Lawn Mower Maintenance

Store the mower in a dry, sheltered area. If your garage or garden shed is prone to dampness it is better to sit the mower on a platform so that it will not deteriorate. This should also prevent insects from nesting in the mower.

Outdoor Furniture Repair

The best fasteners for rickety outdoor furniture are nuts, washers and bolts, and coarse-threaded self-drilling screws. Simply return the weakened joint to its original position and clamp it in place before inserting a couple of screws or bolts.

Setting a Rat Trap

To fool the rats bait the trap without setting it for several days. Use nuts and pumpkin seeds which are hard to dislodge from the trap. Only when the bait is disappearing regularly should you set the trap. If you prefer to remove the rat unhurt purchase a special trap with a one-way trapdoor.

Safe Lifting

Place your legs slightly apart so that the object is between them. Bend at the knees before gripping the object firmly then, keeping the back straight, straighten your legs slowly. Allow your leg and thigh muscles, not your back, to take the strain.

Outdoor Furniture Care

Use a mild detergent and water to clean outdoor furniture and remember to rinse clean. Then apply a product which is designed to stand the damaging effects of weather. Always make sure they are recommended for the materials you have.

Laying Concrete

If hand mixing, do it on a large sheet of plywood or a heavy-gauge polythene sheet. Never mix concrete on the dirt. All the preparation should be complete before the concrete is mixed. This way, the pour can be completed in one operation.

Setting a Level Post

Use a post-hole digger to dig the hole then add gravel into the bottom to aid drainage. Drop the post into the hole, big end first, and add a little dirt. With a stick the size of a shovel handle tamp the dirt firmly. Continue to add dirt, stopping regularly to check the post remains vertical.

Sealing Terracotta or Slate

Remove stains with advanced cleaning products. Choose penetrating sealers for external areas and either a high gloss or low gloss sealer for internal area.

Pool Maintenance

Before starting up for summer check your water test kit and buy new bottles of liquid reagents because they only last one season. Switch on the pump, check your pool’s filters for holes and tears and discard old cartridges.