Monday, 31 August 2015

Digging Holes in Frozen Ground

Digging a hole n any season is a difficult job that requires a lot of effort and exertion. Digging a hole in winter however is a whole other kettle of fish that will leave you frustrated. cold and, after the first 3 hours, maybe a little dead on the inside. To help avoid all that unnecessary pain and anguish here is 3 methods for digging a hole in Winter.

The Kettle Method

This method is a little risky but an be the fastest way to unfreeze a patch of dirt. The idea is to constantly have boiling hot water being poured over the ground in order to heat it up. This is best done using two kettles though one will suffice. The risk with this method is if the ground and general atmosphere is really cold, the water may just freeze and make the ground even harder to dig up.

The Fire Method

This method dates back a very long time when people used to dig graves in Winter using their hands or very rudimentary tools. You basically build and light a fire (charcoal fire would be ideal) over the area of ground you wish to dig and tend to it for a few hours. This warms up the ground and makes your digging a lot easier.

Buy/Hire High Powered Equipment

There is special equipment available on the market for digging holes and for digging holes in Winter. This equipment may set you back but remember you can use it all year for the rest of time (provided they last that long) . If money is an issue you can always hire the equipment out or a company who specialises in the industry. This is the most expensive option but will definitely make your life a lot easier.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

How to Perform Pressure Washer Maintenance

Not many people know of easy ways to prolong the life of their washers so here are a few maintenance tips to get the most out of your equipment.

Check the Oil

You can check the engine and fuel level and if need be top up either the fuel or oil. You may also change the oil if the is a manufacturer recommended oil in the operator's manual. You can also check the tires pressure but keep it at the value marked on the tires or if there isn't one keep it between 15 and 25 PSI.

Check Screens

Check the water inlet screen or the in line screen and flush them with water if they are dirty. If the inlet screen is damaged replace the screen and rubber washer. If the in line screen is damaged replace the screen and O-ring.

Inspect the Hoses

Inspect the high pressure hose and replace if you see any leaks, cuts, abrasions or bulging of cover or if the couplings are damaged or move. New hoses will have to exceed the maximum pressure of your washer. Also examine the cleaning detergent tube and filter. You will need to clean these if they are dirty or clogged. Examine the tube for leaks or tears and make sure it fits lightly on barbed fitting. Replace the tube or siphon/filter if either are damaged. Replace the o-rings if any connectors leak and clean nozzle orifices if clogged. Also rinse out the garden hose.

Make sure to flush the cleaning detergent from the tube and relieve the pressure in the system after each use.

Monday, 10 August 2015

How to Maintain Garden Hoses

 A skilled gardener knows that a hose is essentially a gardening tool and that they must be maintained and stored properly for it to its job. No gardener wants the frustration of a tangled or cracked hose or the wastefulness of a leaking hose.


Properly maintained a hose can last for a good many years and part of this maintenance includes putting the hose away after every use. Putting the hose away is obviously a simple task but it prevents the hose from being stood on, rotting from soil moisture or get run over by a lawn mower. The best way to put a hose away is to keep it on a crank and simply turn to reel it in. Make sure whatever you hang your hose on properly spreads out the weight to avoid any kinks developing and regardless of how you store it make sure it is not in the sun. Make sure to empty all the water and remove any attachments to the hose before putting it away for the winter. The open ends do allow for the expansion and contraction of the freezing of water the repeated freezing and thawing will weaken the fabric of the hose.

Coiling a Hose

This can be done properly with a crank but it is useful to also have the knowledge to do it yourself and it can be done in a few simple steps. Turn off the water to the hose. Hold the hose a few feet from the spigot. Bend an about 3 foot loop in the hose. Keeping hold of the hose, reach a foot or 2 further from the spigot in the same direction as the previous loop and stack these loops onto each other until the whole hose is coiled.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

How to Sharpen Hedge Shears with a File

Sharpening hedge shears is not a difficult task but necessary to perform when you have had them a for a while and they feel as if they are declining. It is a fairly simple task when you have the knowledge on how to do it so here is a brief overview.

Tighten the Pivot Nut

Before sharpening make sure to take a look at the pivot nut to make sure its tight before you begin. If this nut is not tight it could cause the blades to separate slightly and tear twigs instead of cleanly cutting them. After tightening the nut check the tool again to make sure it still needs sharpened. If it cuts cleanly now then the nut was the issue. If it still cuts uncleanly check that the blades aren't bent. If they are bent unloosen the bolt and tighten the blades in a vice until they are straight.

Clamp the Blade

After the blade is firmly in a vice hold the file with both hands and mimic the direction of of the bevel and make sure to move the file in one direction, away from you. As you work you should be able to see the clean metal that the file will leave and do this until the entire edge is clean and sharp. Lightly sand the back of the blade while keeping it flat and moving it in a circular motion. When the burrs left by the fil are gone repeat the entire process on the other blade. After finishing you should try the blades to see how well they cut and remember that thick branches and dry wood can bend the blades so they should only be used for small diameter green wood.