Process for Painting Galvanized Steel

Galvanized steel has been coated with a thin coating of oil and passivator that protects it from water and weather damage. That’s great for preventing rust, but it also prevents solid paint adhesion. To paint galvanized steel, do your prep work and you’re going to have a paint job that lasts for seasons.


Use a water-based degreaser to scrub off the surface and passivator coating. You’ll find many brands of degreasers available at any hardware store or home improvement center. Find degreasers in the cleanser darkened or marine region if your store has one. Some degreasers will need to be diluted with water, though others can be used full strength. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely after you wash the surface down.


You just cleaned the oil off coating, but you should still sand the galvanized surface so the paint adheres well. Sand the surface with a sanding block, or save time and effort and use a drum sander or rotary tool with a sanding bit. Begin with an 80- or 120-grit sandpaper, then perform a second pass with 180-grit for a smoother finish. If you are pressed for time perform a single sanding with 80- or 120-grit sandpaper.


Steel primer is available as a spray or a liquid that you paint with a brush. Some may bypass the primer measure, but it offers an extra layer of protection against the elements and it creates a smooth undercoat for the paint. After you employ metal primer, let it cure according to the manufacturer’s directions. The primer should be completely dried and treated until you paint.


If you’ve primed your surface using a metal primer, you can use most acrylic paints to complete the job. For extra protection you can use a paint specially formulated for metal surfaces, but your primer provides the same protection. The choice is yours. Spray paint is among the most popular procedures of applying paint to a metal surface and there are numerous producers of spray paint to metal surfaces. Apply one or more coats of paint according to the manufacturer’s directions.

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Would You Machine Wash Foam Mattress Toppers?

The substance used to make a foam-style mattress topper varies by brand or model; a few are memory foam, while others are latex or polyurethane. Considering that the foam does not have any protective covering permanently affixed to it, it isn’t intended to withstand machine washingmachine. Instead, fit the topper using a machine-washable cover to increase its longevity.

Foam Mattress Topper Care

A cover made for your version of mattress topper helps to keep the topper free of dust and moisture. The retailer carrying your version and thickness of foam topper probably carries a cover made to fit it. If the foam mattress topper does get filthy, the cleaning procedures are basically the same regardless of the type of foam. Spot-clean it by hand using a slightly damp cloth and a mild soap, allowing the foam to air dry completely. A vacuum cleaner comes in handy for managing dust or hair if the mattress topper is without a protective cover. With or without a cover, allow the mattress topper to air out for an hour or so if you change the bed linens; this can help keep it clean and allows any built-up moisture to dissipate.

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Blue Crystals to Dissolve Tree Roots

Big tree roots penetrate the ground for extended distances, sending out smaller feeder roots that have the ability to sense potential sources of nutrients. Sewer and septic lines give an ongoing and constant source of nutrients and water. When feeder roots detect this source through small cracks or drain holes, the lines may get clogged by development of new roots taking advantage of this food resource. Copper sulfate, sold in the form of blue crystals, which can kill the roots that clog lines without undermining the whole tree.

Treating Septic Lines

After the leak in septic lines becomes slow due to tree roots starting to grow in number, it is possible to care for the backed-up lines with copper sulfate. The roots will absorb the copper, but it is going to only spread a short distance to the main system. The localized copper toxicity will likely destroy the offending roots that then break down over the length of several weeks or days. To deal with septic systems, add copper sulfate to the distribution box in which the lateral lines connect. However, if there is not any access to this box from above, you can add two pounds of copper sulfate to a 300 gallon septic tank by flushing down the toilet, 1/2 cup at a time.

Treating Sewer Lines

Some nations, like California, don’t allow copper compounds for sewer root control since copper is not adequately eliminated in waste water treatment plants. Copper sulfate also corrodes the thin metals used in the plumbing of sinks and bathtubs. If tree roots are an issue in sewer lines, utilize physical removal of origins by a plumber, and root barriers. For serious recurring problems, consider removal of the trees.

Tree Root Growth

Tree roots grow the most during the fall and early winter when the above-ground region of the tree starts to go dormant. If roots are the cause of your plumbing problems, fall and early winter is when you should pay more focus on leak rates. Copper sulfate works best when you treat the problem early so the time it takes for the dead roots to decay and reopen the lines is as short as possible.

Permanent Septic Solutions

You may add small quantities of copper sulfate many times a year to prevent roots from discontinuing up septic lines so long as a single septic tank does not receive more than 4 pounds a year. However, feeder roots will continue to find the mineral supply if you don’t find a permanent solution. After removing the stoppage using copper sulfate, permanently block the origins using a barrier placed in the ground, like commercially available copper sulfate-soaked cloths.

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Hummingbird Flowers That Bloom From March to May

Hummingbirds feed mainly on nectar from flowering plants and are particularly drawn to species using tubular flowers that bloom in shades of red, orange or purple. To attract hummingbirds from March through May, plant a blend of vines, annuals and perennials using nectar-rich blooms. Flowering shrubs and trees can also provide nectar, along with cover and nesting sites. To create the ideal habitat, provide a continuous water supply as well.

Trees and Shrubs

Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9, attributes tubular yellow flowers on long arching branches. Depending on the variety, it flowers from early to mid-spring. Hummingbirds will also sip nectar from the yellow-green flowers of tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9. Another spring bloomer that attracts hummingbirds is western azalea (Rhododendron occidentalis), hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 9 or even 10. It has white blooms and blooms in May.


In May, early flowering anemone clematis (Clematis montana) bloom, attracting hummingbirds using a large number of pink or white flowers. Anemone clematis is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 through 9. Another spring flowering vine is scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus), that can climb 12 to 15 feet, and features big, red blooms. It is a hummingbird favorite, usually grown as an annual and hardy through USDA zone 10.


Hummingbird favorites for March through May contain bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis, also known as Dicentra spectabilis), hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9. Bleeding center, with pendant blooms in white or red, features fern-like foliage and can grow in part sun or shade. Columbines, for instance, frequent columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris), hardy in USDA zones 3 through 8, and also the buff columbine (Aquilegia flabellata), hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9, feature spurred blooms in a range of colors. The dark green dissected foliage remains attractive after the blooms have faded.


Petunias (Petunia), using their vibrant, trumpet-shaped flowers are annuals that bloom from April or May until frost and bring hummingbirds. The low-growing plants are hardy in USDA zones 10 through 11. Technically a perennial, hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9, sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) is often grown as an annual and blooms in May. Its bright flowers in shades of white, pink, red and purple offer nectar to hummingbirds.

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Strawberry Plants: Field Guide Information

Three species of wild strawberries are indigenous to the United States, for instance, common strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), the hillside strawberry (F. vesca) and the sand strawberry (F. chiloensis). Those strawberries plus many hybrid cultivars of domestic strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa) grow on compressed stems known as shingles that send out aboveground stolons or runners which develop roots to form new plants. Domestic cultivars of strawberries can be grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10.

Common Wild Strawberry

The common wild strawberry (F. Virginiana) is a cool season perennial plant which forms colonies in moist soil the edges of woodlands and savannas. It goes dormant after posture one-half to three-quarter-inch-long berries in the summer. The strawberries bear tiny seeds on sunken pits on their surface. Its leaves develop on hairy, dull red stems plus it sends out dull crimson runners or stolons as many as 2 feet long. Roots growing from such runners turn into new plants.

Hillside Wild Strawberry

The hillside wild strawberry (F. vesca) rises 4 to 8 inches tall and yields an edible strawberry about one-half inch, somewhat smaller than the common wild strawberry. It bears blossoms and strawberries simultaneously in the summertime. Unlike the common wild strawberry, its seeds develop directly on the surface of their strawberries, not in small seams. The Hillside strawberry is usually grown as an ornamental due to the small size of its fruit.

Sand Wild Strawberry

The main distinctions between the sand strawberry (F. chiloensis), also called the coast or beach strawberry, and other wild strawberry species is its habitat as well as the size of its strawberries. It sorts lush mats 6 to 12 inches high on sandy beaches and coastal dunes and bluffs from California to Alaska. Though its growing habits are very similar to F. Virginiana and F. vesca, its strawberry is larger. It may withstand light foot traffic and is sometimes grown as a decorative replacement for yards.

Domestic Strawberries

The national strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) is a cross involving the common wild strawberry as well as the sand strawberry and yields larger fruits. The many hybrid cultivars vary greatly in the size and shape of the strawberries. The three main varieties of domestic strawberries are June bearers, everbearers and day-neutrals. June bearers yield one harvest in June and July. Everbearers produce one harvest from June through early July and another in the autumn. Day-neutrals yield strawberries throughout the spring and summer growing season except during extremely hot weather. June bearers typically yield the most strawberries. Everbearers and day-neutrals yield smaller strawberries and fewer of these. June bearers produce more runners than everbearers or day-neutrals. All varieties will remain productive for three to four years.

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The way to Improve Chimney Draft

When all is well with your chimney, a fire in the fireplace or wood stove sends a continuous blast of hot gases through it that disperses into the air. A number of states can hamper this procedure, however, and the consequences — smoke pouring into the living room and inefficient heating — are uncomfortable and dangerous. Some chimney draft issues do not have easy solutions, but others do, and it is fantastic to know the difference.

Flue Size

The correct size of the chimney flue, which is the aperture through which the smoke exits, is about one-tenth the magnitude of the fireplace opening. If the flue is too small, it restricts the flow of waste gases, and when it is too big, the gases have a tendency to recirculate within the chimney rather than flowing out. You may need a chimney expert to replace the flue if it is too large, but if it is too small, the motive might simply be that it is clogged with creosote. Burning a chimney-cleaning log from the fireplace may help, but selecting a chimney sweep is a much more dependable method to clean your chimney.

Chimney Length

The length of a chimney determines its ability to produce an updraft, and the general rule is that longer is better. If the chimney rises less than a two feet above the roof and won’t form an updraft, it is probably too short — particularly if it is not straight — and lengthening it is just another job to get a chimney expert. If your chimney grows a problem with updraft that coincides with the maturation of leaf beside your residence, the branches may be restricting air circulation. If you can not cut the divisions, the solution is to increase the chimney.

Air Pressure

Air rises through the chimney when the pressure in the fireplace exceeds the pressure outdoors. When there’s no fire, or the fire is cool, the opposite condition may exist; the stress exterior may be greater than that inside. When that happens, air flows down through the chimney, which makes it difficult to initiate a fire. This is particularly common when the fireplace is at a lower ground, where the atmosphere is cooler. It’s simple to correct this problem. Simply open a door or window in the fireplace room to allow outside air into the space and equalize pressure.

Replacement Air

When a fire gets hot enough, it generates an updraft that attracts the atmosphere it needs for combustion into the fireplace. This causes a reduction of air pressure in the room, and replacing air flows in from other rooms and from outdoors. Running exhaust fans in the room while the fire burns interferes with this process and reduces the atmosphere available to the fire. You may not even know the fans are on, because they may be part of your house’s automatic heating and cooling system. Therefore, if your fire sputters if the central heat is on, then turning it away may perk up the fire.

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How to Plant Corn in a Grid

Corn (Zea mays) grows nicely in a Mediterranean climate. It germinates best in soil temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Gardeners should have success planting corn at U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 9 and warmer everywhere between April and July. In cooler climates, give corn plenty of time to ripen before the first frost of the fall by planting when soil temperatures reach 60 degrees during April or May. Planting corn at a grid uses a limited quantity of garden space efficiently. The easiest way to have a grid-shaped corn crop is to plant the corn in rows and then thin the seedlings to form a grid.

Till the soil or mix it with a gardening fork to a depth of 12 to 15 inches.

Mix 2 to 4 inches of compost or aged manure into the soil with the tiller or gardening fork. Instead, apply a balanced fertilizer to the soil, including a 5-5-5 ratio fertilizer. Use enough to get the corn to get 30 to 50 pounds of nitrogen per acre.

Plant the corn seeds 1 to 2 inches deep in rows spaced at least 2 feet apart. Sow the seeds about 6 inches apart in the rows. If you would like to develop just as much corn as you can in the specified garden space, plant the corn in double rows spaced 8 to 10 inches apart. Space each group of double rows 24 to 36 inches apart.

Water the corn with at least 1 inch of water per week.

Thin the corn into a grid contour once the plants have three or four leaves and achieve heights of around 5 or 4 inches. Reduce the corn so that the plants have a minimum of 8 inches in between each other, ideally giving them 12 to 16 inches of distance.

Side dress that the corn with a high-nitrogen fertilizer once the plants reach 12 inches tall, or should they turn yellowish or show other signs of nitrogen deficiency. Fish emulsion produces a fantastic natural high-nitrogen fertilizer. Apply about 50 lbs per acre by sprinkling it along the surface of the soil next to the rows of corn. Instead, apply 10 to 15 lbs of nitrogen per week through a drip irrigation system.

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How to Grow Blackberries from Seeds

Blackberries (Rubus spp.) , which grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, are usually propagated through cuttings or division. This technique provides an specific replica of the berry bush. It is possible to develop blackberry shrubs by planting seeds, however, the seedlings change in features. The ideal time to plant young blackberry seedlings outside is in September, but the germination process starts six months before.

Harvest the blackberry fruit. Use fresh berries to gather the seeds, not dried fruit. The germination rate drops once the seeds dry out. Place the fruit in a blender, then pulsing on low until the seeds and fruit independent. Highlight the berries from the juice, and select the seeds from the pulp with tweezers.

Examine every one of the seeds for scratches or nicks. Scratch any pore without damage with a sharp knife. Scarification helps break the powerful seed dormancy surrounding the embryo.

Put the blackberry seeds in a resealable plastic bag along with a handful of moist peat moss. Seal the bag, and put in a refrigerator with temperatures around 33 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the seeds cooled for 12 to 16 weeks.

Fill seed trays with seed starter dirt, and distribute the blackberry seeds on top of the ground. Lightly cover the seeds with soil, and set in a warm location. Blackberry seed germination does not want bright light because the seeds are covered with dirt. Mist the dirt with water in a spray bottle when the soil starts to dry out. Once seedlings start to sprout, move the tray to a room with bright light.

Remove the weeds from a planting area in full to partial sun. Pick a place with good drainage. Spread a 3- to 6-inch-layer of well-rotted compost over the planting area. Dig the organic material to the ground with a shovel. Utilize the compost to the top 8 inches of dirt. This provides that the blackberry plants a great source of slow-release nutrients. Smooth the ground with a rake.

Dig holes with a hand trowel only as deep and wide as the seedlings’ root balls. Space out the holes 4 to 6 feet apart. Put the seedlings in the holes, and fill with dirt. Gently firm the soil around the brambles so that they stand up. Space the rows 10 feet apart.

Water the ground around the foundation of the blackberry plants until it’s slightly muddy. Give the peel plants 1 inch of water each week if there’s no rain during the summer. Spread two to three inches of organic mulch around the base of their new shrubs. Mulching benefits blackberry bushes by reducing weed growth, slowing soil moisture evaporation and providing slow-release nutrients. Keep the mulch layer thick throughout the life of the blackberry bushes.

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The way to Drill Into Metal Window Frames to Hang Curtains

A do-it-yourself homeowner may abandon the notion of hanging drapes on a steel or steel window frame because it calls for drilling holes to mount the curtain rod brackets. But with the perfect sort of drill bit and some patience, you can drill the holes and then attach the brackets to the frame. To do this, you need a power drill and a cobalt drill bit that’s slightly smaller in diameter compared to the screws to get the mounts. Cobalt drill bits are available at home centers and hardware stores. Incorporate a lightweight machine oil to be sure the bit stays sharp from start to finish.

Position a stepladder close one side of this window. Place a curtain rod bracket in the desired place at the same end of the window frame. Use the machined holes in the bracket as guides and mark the places were holes will be drilled using a felt-tip mark. Repeat this step to mark the places for holes where a bracket excels at the opposite end of the curtain rod.

Install a cobalt drill bit in a power drill and wear safety glasses. Put a few drops of lightweight machine oil to the tip of the drill bit. Work out of the stepladder.

Use light pressure on the drill to prevent it sliding away from a mark, and begin drilling the hole. Continue using light pressure until the drill bit starts to penetrate the surface of the metal. Employ a few more drops of oil, and use moderate pressure on the face before the hole starts to take shape.

Implement more oil to the tip of the drill bit, and use light pressure on the drill to bore though the alloy. Employing excessive pressure during the last phase of drilling the hole can cause the little bind in the alloy. Be patient and total drilling the hole.

Repeat the process to drill the holes. Attach the curtain-rod mounts with the supplied screws and a screwdriver.

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