I was walking our dog, Archibald Cortez, this morning and, of course, the neighborhood ladies were out in force, speed walking and jogging on the paseos. At one point, when AC paused, having found some territory to mark, I spotted a woman, who was speed-pushing a stroller and sipping on a water bottle, stop and pour some water on a lone flower that was residing away from the others. She saw me looking and smiled.
"Happy Water a Flower Day!" she said brightly. I think I muttered, "Yeah, you too," and she was off.
I thought she was just joking around, but after I got home I Googled it and, sure enough, today is Water a Flower Day (it's also National Mint Julep Day. Mint juleps were selling for $1,000 apiece at the Kentucky Derby on May 3, but I opted instead for National Have A Coke Day on May 8 'cause Circle K sells the 44-oz-ers for 89 cents... yeah, I'm that cheap).
We live in the high desert area, so summers are brutal on our flowers and we have to be extra-vigilant keeping them hydrated. And, unfortunately, summer came early this year, so it's off to Harbor Freight to pick up a few items to help us out:
The seeper hose can be one of your best friends in the garden. It's the ideal way to irrigate. It kind of reminds me of a battery float charger. The One Stop Gardens 50 Ft. 3/4" Flat Seeper Soaker Hose lays flat on the the ground and "weeps" water for maximum irrigation by soaking the roots directly, so it won't damage plants. Designed with a heavy-duty woven nylon sleeve for ultimate durability, this tough "trickler" features a standard 3/4" thread that attaches to most outdoor faucet connections. It's especially a great asset if you live in an area with tight water restrictions. Harbor Freight price, just $9.99!
For potted plants and other areas where the seeper soaker doesn't help, one of those nozzle things is really handy. Harbor Freight's got a number of them, but for now, let me talk about three of them:
One Stop Gardens has an extremely versatile Six Pattern Trigger Spray Nozzle that will pretty much cover all your lawn & garden watering applications-- and more! Clean your car, water your plants or give your pets a bath with this all-purpose water trigger (Archibald Cortez sure digs it... OK, he tolerates it). The spray nozzle features jet, flat spray, shower, angle spray, mist and soaker patterns to handle a wide range of watering, washing and cleaning jobs. The nozzle is constructed of durable zinc and polypropylene and will deliver many-a-summer of service. Now just $4.99.
A whole different approach to aquatic distribution is the One Stop Gardens Super Deluxe Hose Nozzle, a testosterone-injected weapon of mass-hydration. It lets you easily adjust the right amount of pressure and spray needed for whatever task you've got in front of you, be it the rose garden or the rain gutters. The nozzle fits any garden-variety garden hose and adjusts from a powerful jet stream to blast away dirt and debris, to a soft, cascading spray for watering your plants. Made of solid brass, this hose nozzle won’t break and features a rubberized coating that won’t scratch the car if you're using it to wash it. A real deal at $7.99!
It might be a little Old School, but you can't take away the coolness of the classic Brass Garden Hose Nozzle. This 4" brass nozzle fits any standard garden hose to make watering the flowers or hosing down rugrats easier than ever! With just a subtle twist, you can change the spray patterns from a powerful stream to a soft mist for watering flowers and plants. A great addition to the garden at just $2.99!
I know what you're thinking. All this flower watering, but only one spicket, right? Well, Harbor Freight's got you covered there as well. Check out the One Stop Gardens 4-in-1 Brass Faucet Expander, a nifty four-way faucet splitter that allows you to connect four hoses to one faucet. Made of tough, durable brass, the faucet expander comes with a nice, big grip to attach to the faucet and features individual stainless steel valves for each hose that can be controlled independently! Only $9.99.
In the meantime, take some time and stroll the neighborhood; chances are you'll spot a lone flower looking for a little water and some love.
Congratulations on purchasing your new One Stop Gardens 10’ x 12’ Greenhouse! Growing vegetables, cultivating flowers or starting your botany experiment is now close at hand but did you know that you can get even more out of your greenhouse with some extra time, materials and patience? I recently came across a great article that highlights a few ways to expand your greenhouse in ways that you might not otherwise think of at http://hfgh10x12.blogspot.com/2007/08/this-is-greenhouse-we-bought-link-it.html. Let’s take a look at how you can take your greenhouse to the next level with just a few adjustments.
The greenhouse kit comes with a steel base that you would generally just place on the ground. The author of this article explains how to add some extra stability to your greenhouse in order to resist any weather conditions you may encounter like strong winds and heavy rain. “The popular solution is to build a wooden foundation, anchor it into the ground somehow, and mount the steel base on top,” she says. “Everyone finds their own way to do this, but most use at least 4 x 4 sized timbers for the base.”
You’ll also want to add a couple of diagonal beams at each corner before mounting the greenhouse base itself. With your greenhouse secured to a foundation, you can keep the base square and tight for years to come. And once you’ve got the steel base mounted to the wooden foundation, just apply some clear silicone caulk between the wood and the base to keep rain water from seeping in. In order to maintain the integrity of you greenhouse, you’ll need to plan for all types of unforeseen weather and environmental conditions. You can choose from a few different caulks on Harbor Freight’s website too, from Painter’s Acrylic Latex Caulk to Acrylic Latex Caulk plus Silicone.
Now you’re ready to start putting up the walls of your greenhouse. The article has a little tip to keep your frame and posts straight during construction as well. “As you put the corner posts up, temporarily attach the [included] diagonal braces for stability.” You’ll have to remove them before moving on to the next step but this way you can work with a bit more peace of mind and keep the aluminum frame straight and accurate until you add the vertical wall studs. It’s a good idea to check that the base is still square before moving on and make any necessary adjustments. It’s much easier to make minor adjustments as you go rather than a big one later.
Once you’ve got the greenhouse frame constructed, there are a few things you can do to upgrade it for stability in windier areas. The article advises to add horizontal braces at the tops of the walls to prevent the side walls from pulling away from each other. You can do the same for the front and back walls. Just attach a solid piece of material all the way across each wall to reinforce the structure and keep the elements from potentially warping the frame. The author explains how you can also keep the steel base from flexing: “This can be done by bolting small plates of some type to the top and bottom lip of the base at regular intervals, or by covering the inside of the base entirely with wood that's also attached to the top and bottom lip of the base.”
It’s also easy at this point to add insulation to your frame, she continues. “We used ¾” thick expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) insulation, cut into strips about 4 ¼” wide. We also stuffed some foam sill insulation in there first to remove as many air pockets as possible.” You can protect that insulation and further reinforce the base by attaching boards with screws to the top and bottom lips of the base. As the author says, “Now the base is insulated and stiffened by the attached board...and it looks a little dressier, too.”
Well, at this point, you’ve got yourself an extra strong frame of a greenhouse and you’re ready to move on to inserting the panels. The author of the article sealed the ends of each panel with aluminum tape to help keep dirt, condensation and bugs out. “I bought one roll of 1 ½” wide aluminum tape (not duct tape) and cut it into thirds, so I only have a small taped rim visible on the panels. On the bottom edge, it’s apparently good to have small holes in the tape to allow moisture to escape. You can buy special breathable tape from greenhouse supply websites for this purpose, but others have mentioned using a large pin to poke holes in the tape in each chamber on the bottom edge of each panel.”
How about weather stripping? Well, the author has a suggestion for that as well. “Instead of caulk, I used 3/16” thick closed cell foam weather stripping in each panel opening. Closed cell foam is waterproof so rain can’t soak in.” The larger gaps on the tops and bottoms of each panel are also mentioned. “I found some packages of ¾” wide weather stripping. I used that, cutting each strip in half with scissors, so it was 3/8” wide. It worked fine and turned out to be a soft gray color that was hardly visible under the panels after installation.”
Okay! So now that you’ve gotten your greenhouse constructed and ready to withstand those heavy winds, you’re ready to add even more awesomeness! That’s right, there’s still more you can do to enhance the greenhouse to make it more attractive and convenient. The author added long benches to each side of her greenhouse along with several peninsula-style benches. “Each long side bench is supported by two pressure-treated 4x4s, buried 24" deep and set in concrete. [Then] two horizontal Douglas Fir 4x4's were clamped to either side of the two pressure treated posts. The horizontal 4x4’s were attached by using a 12" long 3/8" drill bit to drill a hole through all three 4x4's. A length of 3/8" all-threads rod was inserted in the hole and capped on each end with a washer and nut.” This addition will provide plenty of shelving space plus ample free space underneath for tools, equipment and supplies.
If you want to get really fancy, the author even added a sink to her greenhouse and explains how it can be used for added benefit. “The sink drain isn’t connected to our house plumbing. It drains into a gravel pit we dug in the floor, and the soil beneath the gravel is the coarse sand of our yard. Another option for the future would be to route the drain water through the wall of the greenhouse and outdoors to water a planting bed.”
Still want more enhancements to your bodacious greenhouse? The author of this article really decked hers out to include some pretty cool additions to improve functionality. She added electrical outlets with plastic covers to keep out moisture, Aluminet shade cloth screen panels to keep temperatures down and even an exhaust fan as a way to let air out. These are obviously more advanced enhancements but the possibilities are there for those willing to put in some extra work. And for those hoping to use their greenhouse continuously, they can be a real help, as the author states, “Without this fan I wouldn't be able to keep plants in the greenhouse year round...our summers would be far too hot. With this fan in place, as well as some additional small fans for HAF (Horizontal Air Flow) and generous amounts of shade cloth, I'll have a fighting chance.”
As you can see, getting your Harbor Freight greenhouse built is only the beginning of your journey and you’re limited only by your imagination! I don’t know about you but I would love to have benches, a sink, air conditioning and weather stripping in my little home garden. For anyone who wants to get serious about their plants and flowers without spending serious money, this is the way to do it.
Ah, Spring-- I love it! It means I get to stoke up the barbecue, tinker outside, go to the range, wear my camo cargo shorts on weekends. The wife loves it 'cause she can get me to shovel bull manure (I wish that was a metaphor, folks).
Seriously, she loves her gardening, so that's why I'm getting her a One Stop Gardens 10' x 12' Greenhouse for her birthday. At first I didn't see the point of a greenhouse. I mean, we live in California, right? Swimming pools, movie stars, oranges the size of heads. But then she (kinda) patiently explained it to me, and I, of course (kinda) patiently listened... the greenhouse is an awesome addition to the home for a number of reasons:
- Germination - The greenhouse absorbs the sun and has a warmer environment. You can control the temperature during cold weather months and start seeding herbs, veggies, fruit, etc., much earlier. And, when it gets hot outside, put a tarp over it to keep the temp down.
- Control bugs, birds, etc. - The bugs start coming out in March, and they go right for the seeds. So do the birds. Greenfly, whitefly and red spider mites are particularly pesty. With a greenhouse, you can keep them out.
- Extending your growing season - Whatever part of the country you're in, you can squeeze out at least a few more months of gardening with your greenhouse-- and in some parts (like California) you can do it year-round! Also, during mild and warmer months, your plant life will grow faster in the controlled environment.
- Grow plants and foods you otherwise can't - With your own greenhouse, growing bananas or other tropical plants and fruits is suddenly an option!
- Hours of additional "green thumb therapy" - For those who find joy and peace dwelling in the dirt.
So, I guess having a greenhouse makes sense. And if I get it before the end of March, I can have it for the low price of $549.99 online with this coupon! Just click on the image and, at the checkout, punch in code "40956090" for this great price!
The wife also told me to pick up the...
You ask me, she's pushing it. Oh, OK... I'm turning it over to the missus now 'cause she has some Spring gardening tips to add and apparently I'm incapable of doing it myself:
Hello, everyone, and Happy Spring! March is the beginning of spring gardening, so this is the perfect time to get moving. Most bedding and potted plants grow pretty well in the One Stop Gardens 10' x 12' Greenhouse. Some seeds like tomato, melon, and cucumber need extra warmth, while others such as antirrhinum, lobelia, and petunia don't. If you have seedlings from last year, now is the time to transplant them into to bigger pots, and established plants will start growing faster, so watering's going to be needed on a more regular basis. Start feeding the growing plants liquid fertilizer (don't overfeed young plants), preferably with a higher percentage of nitrogen to phosphate, and potash for leaf growth. Flowering plants also need a fertilizer that's high in potash. This will increase flowering as opposed to leaf growth.
STARTING YOUR SEEDS
1. Do not open the seed packet until you are ready to plant.
2. Use a container with drainage. Avoid wooden trays as they accommodate disease organisms. Plastic is your best option.
3. Fill your container with compost or place directly in growing medium. The surface should be about 1" below the top of the container. The surface should be moist but not wet; sprinkle it with water the day before sowing. Scatter the seeds thinly over the surface (or larger seeds can be planted in rows).
4. Seeds should be covered with planting material according to the directions on your seed packet (usually you will leave the finer seeds uncovered). Gently firm the soil surface. Most, but not all, seeds need darkness to germinate. Cover your seeds with either a black plastic bag or a brown paper bag and place in your greenhouse for warmth. This excludes the seeds that need light to germinate such as Begonia, Mimulus and Alyssum.
5. Most seeds need to maintain a temperature between 65-70F degrees, but you should germinate the seed at a temperature 10 degrees higher than the recommended temperature for growing the plant.
6. Once the seedlings break through the surface, remove the brown paper bag or black plastic, but then you may want to cover it with a piece of clear plastic for extra warmth and moisture. Never let the compost or planting medium dry out; use a fine mist to keep it watered.
7. Once the first set of true leaves has opened, transplant the seedlings to trays or small pots with multipurpose compost (set the seedlings so the leaves are just above the soil surface). Handle the plants by the leaves, never the stems. Set the seedlings 1-1 1/2" apart and water as necessary, keeping the temperatures between 50-55F degrees.
8. Seedlings that will be going outside must be hardened off to prepare them for the garden. You should move them to the coldest part of the greenhouse and then to a cold frame. Also, set the plants outside during the day for a few days before planting them in the garden.
Not a big fan of Daylight Savings Time, not by a fur piece. It's bad enough The Man wants to take away everything else from us, but a whole friggin' hour? You ask me, it's time to draw the line in the sand. We may have lost that hour, but we can damn well get it back-- and then some!...
...with quality, affordable outdoor solar lighting products from Harbor Freight. In an earlier installment, I talked about the always-popular Decorative 3-Piece Solar Light Set , the garden-pleasing 4-pc. Solar Light Set, the path-illuminating 10-piece Stainless Steel Solar Light Set and the motion-activated 36 LED Solar Security Light. This time I wanted to pass along a few other solar gizmos that work great to enhance your property:
Perfect for decorating your patio, deck, backyard tree trunks, balcony pillars, porch or stair railing, awning, garden fountain, boat, campsite, or as a foot light for the base of your spa or in-ground pool-- the Solar Rope Light from One Stop Gardens concocts an attractive, low-cost ambience for your property! Each 22-ft. rope light includes 50 soft, long-life LED lamps, creating a warm, pleasing accent while providing practical illumination. The solar rope light fully charges with 6-8 hours of daylight and automatically turns on at dusk, providing up to 8 hours of light. It also comes with a ground spike and mounting hardware. At $9.99 per rope, it would behoove you to get a bunch of them.
For a more dramatic lighting effect, consider the easy-to-install One Stop Gardens 2-pc. Solar Spotlight Set-- smart-looking, bright, and there's no wiring involved! Each solar spotlight has 3 LED lamps and a weatherproof solar panel that charges during the day. These are great for highlighting gardens, landscaping, driveways, steps, front or back of the house, flags, fountains or other water features, and more. They can be mounted on the wall or staked into the ground and are fully adjustable for precise effect. Each 2-pack sell for a low $14.99!
Go to sleep every night draped with the image of Old Glory, proudly alit, waving as a sentry outside your home. The Solar LED Flagpole Light is ideal for lighting your flag or brightening up the exterior of your house. The light hasf 3 bright LEDs that automatically turn on when the sun sets, after charging up during the day. It's is fully adjustable to any angle to shine the light down,providing up to 8 hours of light. Priced just right at $19.99.
And don't forget-- there are even BIGGER savings when you use the Harbor Freight 20% Off Coupon!
You work hard to keep your yard looking beautiful. From adding fresh soil, to fertilizing and enriching, to seeding and watering, a lot goes into creating the yard and garden you want to show off. But, why only get to do it half the day? As you prepare your gardens for the approaching warm weather, there's an easy way to show them off at night as well, with sun-powered solar lights from Harbor Freight!
It's the little things, as they say. This Decorative 3-Piece Solar Light Set from One-Stop Gardens is a genuine crowd-pleaser, and one of the biggest best-sellers at HFT! This cool, little light set is the perfect addition to your yard, garden, flower pots, etc., and costs nothing to operate! As soon as it gets dark, the color-changing LEDs inside the transparent hummingbird, butterfly and dragonfly start turning from red to green to blue. How it works is, a 1-3/4"-square solar panel hangs from each stake and charges built-in AA NiCd batteries from the sun, so once dusk comes, these solar lights automatically illuminate your yard with changing colors that give off a magical effect. Currently on sale at $14.29, they're affordable enough to get a few sets and spread them throughout the property!
Illuminate your walkway, driveway, shrubbery or garden with this super-bright, long-lasting 4-pc. Solar Light Set. These efficient lights charge in the daytime, giving up to 8 hours of pleasant, inviting light at night. Easy to install-- simple assembly and they're on!-- the rugged, weatherproof light set automatically turns on and off as illumination is needed, and is completely maintenance-free. Even after cloudy days, they'll deliver the illumination you need. It's a great deal at $11.99-- you'll want to get more than one of these sets, too!
Speaking of lighting up the pathway, One Stop Garden's got a dandy 10-piece Stainless Steel Solar Light Set that's specifically made for just that. Use the sun's energy to light your walkway in the yard, patio or garden with these long-lasting, bright white LED lamps. Durable and weather-resistant with an attractive copper finish, they're dumb-proof easy to install (just stick them in the ground) and, like the other solar units, turn on automatically at dusk. For only $24.99, they outshine any other deal out there.
Here's a neat product that adds light AND security to the home. The 36 LED Solar Security Light from Bunker Hill Security gives off an attractive, gentle blue light when unattended, but when someone approaches to within 35 feet, it suddenly brightens the area. It's a perfect light for pathways, driveways or in the yard, making areas safe for treading-- and alerting the owners there's someone there! The security light automatically switches on its bright 36 LED illumination motion is detected and has an output equivalent of a 10 watt incandescent bulb. The unit recharges easily in the sun during the day, and you can even adjust the light to stay on for up to 60 seconds past the last motion detected. Priced to sell, the solar security light is only $22.99.
For these and other outdoor solar lights to illuminate and enhance your home, check out the Lighting section in Harbor Freight's Lawn & Garden dept. And don't forget to use your 20% Off Coupon when you make your purchase, online or at the store.
The summer's almost over, but you wouldn't know it, stepping outside. As the heat persists, so do bugs, thirsty gardens, weeds, dirt-splattered recreati0nal toys, dusty windows, etc.-- all perfect reasons to keep a One Stop Gardens 4-Gallon Backpack Sprayer in the garage.
As attested by Harbor Freight customers, the durable 4-gallon backpack sprayer works great in the garden, spraying water, fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide, soil conditioner, kelp solutions and weed killer. Others use it for washing their boats, motorcycles and ATVs when hoses are not available. One customer said the backpack sprayer was perfect for carrying cleaner for washing their windows.
As deer hunters are fully aware, the game have already started hitting the crops, preparing for the winter ahead. Many hunters anticipate the season by creating food plots-- cover crops planted for the express purpose of attracting and holding the deer (soybean and clover are both favorites)-- which means they need to keep the area clear of weeds, grass and other noxious growth. The 4-Gallon Backpack Sprayer is perfect for transporting and spreading the weed & grass killer to the area.
Needless to say, the list of uses for the backpack sprayer ends with the imagination. You can use it to spray down dusty campsites, balconies, high-sitting wasp nests, sandy kids at the beach, out-of-reach sheds, fence lines, and so much more! And, at such a low price, there's no excuse not to get one!
We Americans love celebrating our country: Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day. They're more than just a chance to throw a barbecue, they're an opportunity to honor those who lived and died for this nation, and a time to celebrate the privileges we have. But what is Flag Day? How did it come about, and why should we observe it?
Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the Stars & Stripes as the first American flag, which took place June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. Not only was this a significant step in symbolizing the new, independent nation, it came about on the second anniversary of the birth of the Continental Army. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day. In observance, Americans across the country fly the flag all week--, National Flag Week-- as a petition that we always remember the roots of our nation's history.
Instead of simply posting an American flag on a bracket above the garage, why not proudly fly it on a flag pole for all in the neighborhood to see? Harbor Freight carries both a 20 ft Telescoping Flag Pole Kit (95598)-- able to carry two flags...
Both made by One Stop Gardens, they assemble and mount easily into the ground, and are made of sturdy, rust-proof aluminum.
This year, President Obama has signed a proclamation-- as all our presidents have since 1949 and beyond-- encouraging Americans to fly our flag proudly. We always do.
Get these deals while they last. This sale ends 5/30!