marigold

Protect Yourself from Mosquitoes with These Plants in your Garden

Are you one of those people who seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than other people? Maybe someone in your family is? If mosquito bites are a problem in your household, maybe it’s time to add some plants in your garden to ward off these pesky insects.

In this article, we will identify some plants you never knew naturally repel mosquitoes.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil is a leafy aromatic that also has a bushy appearance. Types of basil include: sweet basil, purple basil, lemon basil and Thai basil.

Basil is a type of annual that grows typically in the summer. It also works very well in the kitchen if you like Italian dishes.

This plant likes moisture so make sure the soil you plant it in is moist. Encourage growth by trimming leaves regularly. When fresh, this plant is very pungent. After harvesting, you can opt to dry the leaves or freeze them.

basil

 

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender is a genus of 39 known species of flowering plants. It has annual and short-lived herbaceous perennial plants. While leaf shape is diverse across the genus, they are normally covered in hairs, which contain the essential oils.

Lavender has a variety of uses. It is used as a component in many food and beverages. It also has medicinal uses ranging from: relief of painful conditions like migraines, tooth ache and joint pains, digestive problems, circulation disorders and aromatherapy.

Plant lavender in an open area that gets lots of sun and air circulation. It needs well-drained soil that has a slight alkaline between 6.7 and 7.3 pH levels. The plant also grows in the summer. Prune faded blooms lightly in order to encourage new growth.

lavender

 

Marigold (Tagetes erecta)

Marigold are annuals that have the ability to bloom all summer. The plant has flowerheads that resemble a daisy or a double carnation. Its colours are gold, copper and brass.

The marigold has edible flowers that can be added to summer salads. In some dishes, it is used to get the colour of saffron. Unfortunately, it does not have the same taste. It is sometimes used to substitute French tarragon and can also be mixed in teas.

The plant needs lots of sunshine and thrive in soil that is moderately fertile and well-drained. When watering, it is best to do at the base of the plant and not from overhead. The plant does not need fertilizers and in fact, grows better in poor soil.

marigold

 

Mint (Mentha piperita)

The peppermint plant is a cross between watermint and spearmint, making it a hybrid mint. It is a perennial plant that has very green leaves and have a strong menthol flavour. It also has flowers that grow either purple, pink or white.

The peppermint has many uses. In cooking, mint brings a fresh taste to recipes it is used in. Meanwhile, a compress with mint leaves relieves a headache when applied to the forehead. Aside from mosquitoes, mice also dislike the smell of this plant.

Minimal care is needed for this type of herb.  It grows well in water gardens and damp spots, but it can also survive in soil that is drier. The problem with mint is that it can easily overrun a planting bed.

To enjoy the strong flavor of the peppermint when harvesting, do it at midday when the concentration of the essential oils are said to be the strongest.

 

mint

 

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary is a woody plant and its leaves look like needles. It is a fragrant perennial herb with white, pink, blue or purple flowers.

It is a decorative plant that can also be used in soups and stews. It is also used as stuffing for roasting meats such as poultry and lamb. Either fresh or dried, the leaves are also popular in Italian cuisine. The oils are also used in fragrances, incense, shampoo, bath and cleaning products due to its relaxing aroma.

Plant the seeds in well-drained soil. Trim the plant and prune regularly. During the winter, this plant can be grown indoors in small pots.

rosemary

 

If anything can be gathered from the list above, it is that these plants are quite common and are already being used in households.

If you didn’t know before that these aromatics also ward off mosquitoes, then this article just gave you another reason to consider growing them.

If you know about other plants that make bugs and insects go away, share your comments below.

 

 

 

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What to look for when buying a garage door for your home

(HIB) – The most important factor that garage door buyers consider is not the price! 

That was the surprising result of a 2016 national survey completed in February. According to that study, the buyers’ most important consideration is appearance/curb appeal, followed by price, durability, low maintenance, warranty, and five other factors.

“This survey underscores the key role that garage doors play in the appearance of today’s homes,” says Todd Thomas, managing director of the International Door Association.

“Since garage doors command such a large area of the front of the typical home, homeowners are increasingly recognizing the powerful impact of an attractive garage door.”

Latest census statistics

The large area occupied by garage doors is getting even larger. In June, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 24 percent of new single-family houses completed in 2015 had a three-car (or more) garage, the highest percentage ever.

The Midwest region leads the country with 42 percent of new homes having at least a three-car garage. The larger the area, the larger the aesthetic impact.

“Can you imagine how much it would cost to renovate 150 square feet of the front of your home?” Thomas asks. “With a new upscale garage door, you can get the project done professionally for less than $3,000.”

The top upscale project

The new 2016 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling Magazine also echoes the cost-effectiveness of a new garage door. For the first time in the report’s history, an upscale garage door replacement earned the top spot in the rankings of all upscale projects studied.

The report said that the purchase of an upscale garage door recoups 90 percent of its cost at resale, far above the second place project, which was a siding replacement at 78 percent. The average cost recouped for all 30 projects in the study was 64 percent.

“More people are migrating to the quality doors,” says Wayne Pawlowski at Garage Door Guy in Barnegat, New Jersey. “No longer is it ‘What’s the cheapest you got?’ They would rather spend a few extra dollars and get a better door.”

New designs, more choices

Fortunately for the consumer, garage door manufacturers are now producing hundreds of stunning designs in steel, wood, aluminum and fiber-composite material. When combined with new colors, windows, insulation and decorative hardware options, the potential designs are almost limitless.

“We have so many more attractive designs today than we had 20 years ago,” says Randy Oliver of Hollywood-Crawford Door, a long-time garage door dealer in San Antonio. “An upgraded door that takes advantage of all these optional features is surprisingly affordable.”

Best buyer’s resource

The key is to learn more about a garage door’s features and the design possibilities. To help homeowners with the task, garage door manufacturers have joined together to create a free consumer website (www.garagewownow.com) that contains dozens of photos of the latest garage doors from many manufacturers.

The GarageWowNow site includes design tips, photos of many openers and accessories, and several before-and-after garage door images that demonstrate how a door upgrade improves the appearance of the home. A dealer finder on the site leads you to a nearby qualified door dealer who can handle the project quickly, properly, and safely.

“I tell my customers that price should be a factor, but not the only factor,” says Oliver. “When customers realize the overall value of a better-made and better-looking garage door, they buy the better door almost every time.”

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How to use color psychology when painting your home

(HIB) – Do you ever wonder why you feel immediately relaxed when you enter a spa, yet when you enter a gym, you feel alert and energized? The answer can be found in the colors selected to decorate the space.

“Interior designers use color psychology to evoke an emotional response,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. “Homeowners can use this strategy to connect colors with emotions and memories to create one-of-a-kind spaces.”

Color psychology starts by exploring warm and cool hues and then using these different tones to manipulate mood throughout your home. It’s easy to do with the tips below.

Warm color families

Red, orange and yellow are considered warm colors since they are associated with images of heat, like fire or sunshine. Warm families of color are bold and powerful when incorporated into home design.

Yellows

Because yellow reflects light, it’s an excellent choice for foyers and dark hallways. Its cheery nature has the ability to create an uplifting mood in homes. Rich yellows are great accent colors because they catch the eye. A great color to consider is Wadden’s favorite: Butterscotch SW 6377.

“This color isn’t for the faint of heart,” she says. “The color features an acidy, deep mustard feel but is a great accent color paired with neutrals. I find its pop can really spark up a room.”

Reds

Reds evoke feelings of passion, energy and intimacy, so it’s an excellent color for workout rooms and master bedrooms. Red also inspires the appetite, so is a logical choice for dining rooms or kitchens.

Michael Plank, director of color marketing and design services for Sherwin-Williams, enjoys Chinese Red SW0057.

“Chinese Red is one of my perennial favorites to play off dark stains with its saturated and sophisticated nature,” he says. “Rich in hue as it is in Chinese culture; the harbinger of joy and fortune.”

Oranges

Orange has a friendly attitude that awakens and welcomes. Never understated, orange works well in family rooms and is a playful choice for children’s bedrooms or bonus rooms. Orange tones can also integrate into other colors, such as Coral Reef SW6606.

“Ever since I was little I had a love affair with orange,” says Wadden. “I painted my daughter’s room Coral Reef. I love the rich complexity of the color.”

Cool color families

Blue, green and violet are considered cool colors because the inherent tones of each shade. Reminiscent of water and the outdoors, cool colors stimulate feelings of peace and tranquility, and are great options for bedrooms, bathrooms and patio spaces.

Blues

Blue is soothing and elicits feelings of relaxation, which is perfect for bedrooms and bathrooms. Alternatively, blues should be kept out of the kitchen because it’s a color that’s associated with appetite suppression.

“I love cool greenish blues,” says Plank. “Blue Sky 0063 is from our historic palette and is a calming hue that works in virtually every room.”

Greens

Green tones provide a feeling of familiarity because they are found throughout nature. Light greens are ideal for living rooms and offices; dark greens are wonderfully rich as accent colors.

Vivid greens add unexpected pop, notes Sherwin-Williams Senior designer Karrie Hodge, who likes Marea Baja SW 9185.

“I really like dark colors and this color reminds me of the deep turquoise part of the ocean,” she says. “This would make a great front door color on a white or gray colored house. This color would pair well with some natural stone or brick or wood.”

Violets

Purple tones are immediately attractive to children, making them a great paint option in playrooms or bonus rooms. Additionally, violet is also a stunning accent color in bathrooms.

When it comes to the violet family of colors, Hodge likes the versatility of Veri Berri SW 9069.

“Its a rich berry tone that is playful,” she says. “This would make a really dramatic accent wall color in any room; I could even see this as a really fresh front door color.”

For more color inspiration and to learn more about warm and cool colors, visit www.sherwin-williams.com.

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Three DIY ways to improve your home WiFi

(HIB) – You don’t need an expert to tell you: America is hooked on the internet. Just try to think of the last day you didn’t use the web in some way.

But you probably don’t think much about the main way the internet is delivered: through WiFi. It powers your computer at work – as well as the Facebook feed you’re discreetly checking under your desk. At home, it’s the new electricity. Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora rely on it. It powers activities on your smartphone, unless you want to rack up a huge data bill from your carrier. WiFi runs the kids’ Xbox and maybe even your thermostat and security camera – these days, almost every device in the home is thirsty for WiFi.

When you do think about WiFi, it’s usually because it’s not working – and driving you nuts. Before investing in a more expensive internet package or living with buffering videos and router resets, here are three do-it-yourself ways to improve your home WiFi:

Move your router

If you have rooms that don’t have access to the internet – dead zones – first try moving your router to a more central location in the home. Because routers have a limited range, it’s important that your router is in a central area. If you can’t move the router to a different location, try elevating it on a table or shelf to spread the signal more efficiently.

Large metal appliances, like refrigerators, and electronics that emit radio waves, like microwaves, can interfere with your network’s signal. Keeping the router out of places like the kitchen can help bolster the range and speed of your WiFi.

Upgrade to a mesh network

Most households rely on a single router. But with the steep increase in home internet usage, one WiFi router may not be adequate to support all the devices connected to it.

A San Francisco company, eero, was the first to bring a mesh WiFi system into the home. eero – which is about as simple as anything gets in the tech world – works by swapping out your current router, plugging a single eero into your modem, then placing additional eeros throughout the house. The devices work together to create a wireless mesh network that delivers fast, reliable WiFi to every room. Their mesh technology ensures people are getting the same internet speeds they’re paying for throughout the entire home, instead of just near wherever their cable pipe comes in.

eero is quick to set up and makes it easy for people to manage their networks through a smartphone app. The app allows you to monitor your internet network from afar and invite guests to join the network via a text message. Parents can even assign schedules for when devices can access WiFi, making it easy to limit their kids’ internet usage.

Update your modem

An often-overlooked device that may be throttling your WiFi signal is the cable modem, the device that translates the data coming in through your cable pipe into a digital language your router can understand.

Households should update their modems every three to five years. If yours is outdated, it could be impacting the quality of your signal and speed. Many people rent their modem from their internet service provider for $5-10 a month. Purchasing a new, updated modem usually costs $50-100, but you’ll save money on a rental fee while seeing major improvements to your WiFi.

The way we use the internet today has changed and the old ways of WiFi are not keeping pace. Whether it’s moving your router, upgrading to an eero mesh network, or just swapping out your modem, you shouldn’t have to deal with buffering, dead zones, or router resets.

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