Show Notes: Well Maintenance, Garden Tool Care and More – On the House

Show Notes: Well Maintenance, Garden Tool Care and More

By on March 21, 2015

It is now officially Spring! James and Morris are getting their garden tools tuned up, and ready to go to work.  If you have a well, good, safe water is a necessity. When was the last time you maintained it? We have important tips from the  National Ground Water Association for giving your well an annual check-up. And, as always, there is more information you will want to use!

Thank you to our guest: Cliff Treyens, Public Awareness Director, National Ground Water Association

Well Owners:



The Great Toilet Paper Debate Is Over – Literally!

The eternal debate over bathroom conventions seems to have actually been answered more than a century ago.

According to an 1891 patent by New York businessman Seth Wheeler, the end of a toilet paper roll should be on the outside, or in the “over” position. (Advocates of the “under” position, take note: better flip that roll over when you get home.)

Writer Owen Williams shared the discovery Monday on Twitter, posting a picture of Wheeler’s patent for the toilet paper roll.

The patent for toilet paper should settle the over vs under debate

Wheeler, the man behind the Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company, is also the reason we’re able to tear off perfect squares in the first place: Albany Perforated originally patented the idea for perforated “wrapping” paper (a more modest name for toilet paper) in 1871.

“My invention … consists in a roll of wrapping paper with perforations on the line of the division between one sheet and the next, so as to be easily torn apart, such roll of wrapping paper forming a new article of manufacture,” Wheeler’s 1871 patent read.

Now that this has been resolved, everyone can move on to other pressing concerns: single-ply or double-ply?



Maintaining Your Well – Homeowner’s Checklist

 Always use licensed or certified water well drillers and pump installers when a well is constructed, a pump is installed, or the system is serviced.

An annual well maintenance check, including a bacterial test, is recommended. Drinking water should be checked any time there is a change in taste, odor or appearance, or when the well system is serviced.

Keep hazardous chemicals, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides, and motor oil far away from your well.

Periodically check the well cover or well cap on top of the casing (well) to ensure it is in good repair.

Always maintain proper separation between your well and buildings, waste systems or chemical storage facilities. Your professional contractor knows the rules.

Don’t allow back-siphonage. When mixing pesticides, fertilizers, or other chemicals, don’t put the hose inside the tank or container.

When landscaping, keep the top of your well at least one foot above the ground. Slope the ground away from your well for proper drainage.

Take care in working or mowing around your well. A damaged casing could jeopardize the sanitary protection of your well. Don’t pile snow, leaves, or other materials around your well.

Keep your well records in a safe place. These include the construction report, as well as annual water well system maintenance and water testing results.

Be aware of changes in your well, the area around your well, or the water it provides.


Spring Cleaning NoNo

 Never mix bleach with ammonia

 The result is chloramine……

Chloramine is a very volatile gas that can kill if breathed in a small closed space like a shower or closet.


Get Your Garden Tools Ready For Spring

Before you can tackle that spring checklist, your yard tools and outdoor power equipment need to be readied. Lawn Mower Tune-Up The Oklahoma State University Cooperative extension office states, “A mower tune-up will extend your mower’s life and will reduce polluting emissions by up to fifty percent.” A basic lawn mower tune-up includes changing the oil, the oil filter and spark plug, as well as sharpening the mower blades. Remember, dull blades will tear the grass, not cut it, leaving your grassy shaggy and disheveled looking. If you stored your lawn mower for the winter without cleaning the mowing deck, now is the time to clean it. Never clean the mowing deck, however, when the machine is running. Lawnmower tune-ups should be performed on both push mowers and riding mowers. Trimmer Prep Trimmers will need new trimmer line. Other trimmer accessories you may need are replacement batteries. Hedge trimmers may need battery replacements as well

 Sharpen And Clean All Your Garden Equipment

Spring lawn care begins with cleaning rakes, hoes, spades, loppers and shears. Lawn and garden tools stored for winter without cleaning can be less than functional come spring. Wipe all tools down with soap and water. A stiff brush can be used to clean stubborn, caked-on debris. Be sure to dry the tools thoroughly. Clean loppers and shears/pruners with rubbing alcohol. If the handles of your lawn tools are wooden, check for cracks and splinters. The wooden handles may need to be sanded and smoothed in order to prevent splintering throughout the spring and summer growing season. A fresh coat of paint to seal the wood can help as well. Choose a bright color such as red or yellow-bright colored handles are easier to see lying in the grass.


Spring Gutter Cleaning And Inspection

Now that spring is here, it’s time to start inspecting your home for winter weather damage.

Inspecting your rain gutters is an easy task most every home owner can do.

Your first step to to clean the gutters out.

Clear away all the leaves and debris that may be clogging the gutter and hiding problems.

While you are cleaning. inspect the gutters for sags, bent or broken gutter and broken or missing gutter straps or supports. Look for holes in the gutters and at all joints.

Once you have a good idea of any damage it’s time to repair or replace your gutters before the summer is over.


Bee Friendly – Plant Bee Friendly Plants In Your Spring Garden 

 Plan for blooms year round.

 Plant at least three different types of flowers to ensure blooms through as many seasons as possible, thus providing bees with a constant source of food.  For example:

Crocus, hyacinth, borage, calendula, and wild lilac provide enticing spring blooms.

Bees feast on bee balm, cosmos, echinacea, snapdragons foxglove, and hosta in the summer.

For fall, zinnias, sedum, asters, witch hazel and goldenrod are late bloomers that will tempt foragers.


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