Ever think about how great it would be if you didn’t have to buy a specialized concoction for every little household chore? And how expensive it becomes when you do? Add up the cost of some fertilizer, some ant spray and some weed killer, and you’re probably looking at spending close to $50 at the hardware store. Save the money for a barbeque. Here are five ways to use the items in your kitchen to spruce up your outdoor space.
RESTORE TIRED CLAY POTS:
A good vinegar bath can make even the dullest clay pots look like new! Start by scrubbing them to remove loose dirt and debris. Then, let them soak in a mixture of one part distilled white vinegar and three parts water for 30-45 minutes. Wipe remaining debris and soak in water again to dilute the remaining vinegar. Give them one last scrub with soapy water and rinse.
PERK UP YOUR PLANTS:
Sprinkle coffee grounds in your soil to fertilize your flora and sweeten your stems. Coffee grounds provide important nutrients and release nitrogen into the earth as they degrade. They’re the perfect pick-me-up for acid-loving plants like tomatoes, roses and azaleas. And they attract soil-boosting earthworms too!
WIPE OUT PESKY WEEDS:
Finally, an easy way to get rid of those pesky weeds in the cracks of your walkways and patio pavers. Simply dilute salt in water (mix a 3:1 ratio of salt-to-water to start) and pour it over the weeded areas to dehydrate unwanted vegetation. Take care not to pour the mixture too near to areas of desirable vegetation though, as it will negatively affect them as well.
SEND THE ANTS MARCHING AWAY:
Apparently, cucumbers positively repel ants. Place peels around the perimeter of your patio doors, eating areas and other places you don’t wish to see the bothersome buggers assemble. Mint tea bags, bay leaves and cinnamon are also said to keep ants at bay.
BLAST CONCRETE STAINS:
Baking soda’s sure to take your outdoor flooring stains to task — whether it’s grilling grease, pet urine, motor oil, or wine from the night before. Start by wetting the area with a hose. Then, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the stain on the concrete. Use a nylon brush to rub it into the stain and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, boil a large pot of water. Once the soda has set, carefully pour the boiling water over the stain (take care not to splash or scald yourself or others). Once the area has cooled, use the brush to scrub out the stain. (Baking soda’s great for cleaning grills too!) If you’ve got a stubborn stain that just won’t budge, a professional can help. According to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide, most homeowners paid between $80 and $200 to pressure wash a driveway.
With the start of fall just around the corner, we (in the southern states) can look forward to cooler weather for outdoor projects! If you have any questions about sprucing up your home or what outdoor trends buyers are looking for, send me an email, I’d be happy to help!
Danielle MacCarthy, REALTOR
Ref: Home Advisor