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3/28/2013

Cheap Home Green Maintenance Orange County


 

Sunflowers in my Home
A Dozen Cheap HOME Green Maintenance Tips for Your Orange County Home

1.     Used coffee grounds I save the grounds from my coffee to use in the following situations: battles against ants that don’t care for the acid. Ground can be added to compost, in pots as mulch, around the perimeter of your foundation. If you don’t drink coffee, Peet’s or Starbucks coffee houses in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach ect will be happy to give you a couple pounds for free. Supply them with some plastic container, even a plastic trash bag and offer to save them from walking out to the dumpster.

2.    Used pool filter Diatomaceous earth also known as D.E., diatomite, or kieselgur/kieselguhr, is a naturally occurring rock that feels like pumice, it also comes in food grade This fabulous substance is used in swimming pools to catch dirt and bacteria. Snails and ants hate it because it cuts the gentle tissues of these creatures. If you don’t have a pool, ask your neighbor or a local pool man to rinse out those filters on your lawn or throw some of it in a plastic bag for you. This can also be sprinkled around the perimeter of your home and garden to keep away pests, snails and slugs. It must be re-applied as it tends to get washed into your soil. I don’t advise you place in dog or pet sleeping areas as it has a rough feeling to the sand. With so many homes that have pools in Orange County California it should be easy to get a bag of this free.

3.    Plant a lemon tree – put it in a pot and do not overwater. Lemon juice is useful in many ways. Lemon juice removes stains, irritates ants, has a deodorizing quality and is wonderful to make lemonade. I have two types: a Meyer and a Bearrs Lemon. It is nice to have different types to bear fruit at different times.

4.    Start a compost pile  Layer grass clippings, only vegetable cuttings, nothing with rust or pest spores, nothing that has animal or oil products

5.    Four products to clean everything: vinegar, borax, dawn soap, peroxide

6.    Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure. Putting firewood near your foundation is a welcome sign for spiders, ants, termites and mice.

7.    Check your gas- and battery-powered lawn equipment to make sure it is ready for summer use. Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make yard work easier Set the lawnmower to 4 inches high, your grass is stressed by giving it a short haircut. Water the grass less and allow it to force the roots to search deeper. Once a week is enough in coastal Orange County, let it look dry wilted then water. Don’t use pesticides or herbicides on grass. Welcome birds by putting out some millet or sunflower black oil seeds (“oilers”) have very thin shells, easy for virtually all seed-eating. Don’t put out a huge portion, the purpose is to entice them to eat the bugs and grubs in your grass.

8.    Change your filters every season and once a month in the summer. Find a heating and cooling contractor clean to service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels. I can recommend a couple contractors who are fair in Orange County serving from Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel and as far south as San Diego. And speaking of filters, the filter in the hood of your kitchen range, run it in the dishwasher and grease is gone.
Photograph shows a simple use of old pumpkin peel to stop run off
 
 
9.    Gravel fill low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with gravel and compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects

10.  Simple repairs include caulking or installing a variety of inexpensive door/window insulating strips or plastic sheeting. (You can even get help from Uncle Sam on these items, but only until the end of this year.)

11.  Extension cords are for temporary use only. Those cords sitting out in the yard that have weathered the winter or inside the house plugged in on a permanent basis need to go. Check all cords for potentially dangerous nicks or frayed spots. If you have fountains, check those as well for cracks as can be dangerous combination of electricity and water around your home.

12.  Do not store Old paint near the furnace or water heater. It is a Big fire hazard. In general it will be a dried up rock when you get around to opening the can. Peel the labels off and put them in a notebook for future reference, or simply writing the color and brand details for the paint used in each room on the back of the light switch plate there. Or write the name and number and brand in an email and send it to yourself label PAINT FILE. It is against the law to dump wet paint in landfills and our local trash CR &R in Orange County has information about when and how you can dispose this safely Information here: http://www.crrwasteservices.com/cities/orange/residents/

Conservation and rain in an ecosystem
 
 

 

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