What’s New? Tea Forte Variety Packs and Single Steep Loose Teas

tea forte 2017New from Tea Forte are their single steep loose leaf tea assortments. If you love loose leaf tea but want a simpler way to enjoy, then these pre-measured single steep packages are a great solution.  Tea stays fresh until you use because they are packaged in sealed foil packets.

If you like variety, Tea Forte’s new variety packs of loose leaf tea provide you 3 flavors, each in their very own tin.  This is a great way to try new flavors or to mix up your flavors based on the day (or mood).  Variety is the spice of life, afterall!  Stop by our housewares department to see our full selection of Tea Forte products – on sale year round.

Helpful Tip: Make sure your bathroom fan is working well

exhaust fanNot sure if your noise old bathroom exhaust fan is working well?  Give it the ‘ole tissue test to find out!  Hold a single tissue up to your bathroom fan and if it suctions to the fan and does not fall away, you are getting good air moment.  If the tissue does not hold, then you will want to investigate why the fan is being so inefficient.

How can you improve efficiency of your exhaust fan?  You can start with vacuuming out dust and dirt that may be clogging the fan or the screening.  Next, you can remove the screen and make sure that their is no loss of suction being caused by open ports around the housing.  It is important to fill in all of these gaps with spray foam (or similar) to ensure that the fan is drawing air from the bathroom and not the attic space above.  Lastly, you will want to make sure that the vent leading to the outside of the house is working properly.  This will require making sure the flap on the unit is opening up when the fan is in use and closing when it is not.

This tip was brought about from personal experience with my bathroom fan that has been recently upgraded by sealing off around the housing and cleaning out the fan screening!

If there is a helpful tip or some topic that you would like us to mention in our blog, please feel free to email me at derek@rolliers.com.

Thanks for reading,

Derek

Helpful Tip: Be sure to “harden” your seedlings before planting outside

harden your seedlingsMost of us have probably heard about the need to “harden” seedlings before you plant them outside in your garden, but how important is it really?  Won’t the plants eventually harden when you plant them outside for real?

It is very important to harden-off your seedlings.  This process takes about 7 days and gradually exposes your plants to more direct sunlight, cooler evening temperatures, and damaging wind.  It is important that this process is done gradually and not all at once, because too much sun or cold, or wind might just be enough to kill your seedlings and ruin all of your hard-work up to this point.  Here is a general timeline that one could follow…

Day 1: Place seedlings outside in an area that gets filtered sun for about 1 hour.  Choose an area (or a day) where winds are not expected to be too forceful.

Days 2-4: Place seedlings outside in the same area, but increase the duration by an additional hour each day.

Days 5-7: Continue to increase the time that they are exposed to the outdoor climate.  If any days are expected to get harsher weather or thunderstorms, you may want to keep them inside and pick up where you left off the following day.

Couple of additional notes…

The schlepping of plants indoors and out can be quick the hassle, especially if you have a whole bunch.  Do stick with it however, since this process will ensure that your seedlings build up the strength and function that they need to cope with the colder nights, direct sunlight, and harsh winds that they will most certainly experience in the near future.

After the 7 days are complete, you are good to begin transplanting your seedlings to larger containers or to sow them directly into the garden.  However, be sure that we have passed the last chance to frost, which typically for the Western PA area is the last week of April!

Because of the wind and sun outside, your seedlings may dry out quicker during this process, so be sure to keep up your seedlings moist both before and after putting them outside.

We wish you the best of success this year in your gardens… Happy gardening!

Derek

What’s Trending? Deer Repellent Overview

The hot topic this spring (and every spring) is deer repellents.  What really works?  What is best for my particular needs?  Should I use more than one product?  All of these questions go into determining which deer repellent will be best for you.  Here is an overview of deer repellents, how they work, and the advantages of using one over another…

Liquid Deer Repellents are great for almost every type of plant, tall or short, large or small, potted or planted directly in the ground. Liquid products repel by both taste and smell. The odor of these products “covers up” the natural plant scent that deer are used to and trust. Treated plants no longer smell like a typical food source. If deer are stubborn enough and still want to sample a treated plant they will be turned off by the bad taste and will move on to another area. Liquid products are made of a variety of ingredients, but the most common ingredients are egg solids, garlic, cinnamon, mint, and/or capsicum. Some of our favorite liquid-based products are Liquid Fence, Ortho Deer-B-Gon, Bobbex, Deer Stopper, Deer Off and Repels All.

Contrary to many beliefs, liquid deer repellents are rain resistant! As long as the liquid deer repellent has had a chance to dry completely before rainfall, it will not be rinsed off. The big thing to keep in mind here, is to follow the application instructions and to apply the liquid spray to new growth. Therefore, when plants are growing rapidly in the spring, you may need to spray new growth every few days to be sure that you are protected. Once growth slows in the late spring or summer, applications typically reduce to once a month with liquid spray-on products.

Granular (Dry) deer repellent are easy to apply and will last longer than liquid deer repellents. On average, granular deer repellents will last about 30 days and are applied as a perimeter around what you want to protect. The ingredients in granular deer repellents (with a few exceptions) are designed to activate the natural “flight response” in deer. They will smell the granular and fear for their lives because they sense that a predator is in the area! Active ingredients in granular-based products typically include dried blood, or coyote urine.  Some of our favorite dry deer repellents are Deer Scram, Animal Stopper, Deer Off (spikes), Deer Ban, Shake Away, and Repels All (granular).

Granular products are great for protecting large areas because you only have to use them as a perimeter. They are also perfect for protecting edibles and vegetable gardens, since they will not contact plants.  Some dry repellents even work for up to 90 days because they are in a weather proof container!

Some Final Points… We have heard that every product WORKS and that every product does NOT WORK.  The important thing to get from this is that everything does work!  These products have all been tested by the EPA and have been proven to work.  The big thing is to determine what will work best for your particular situation… What is most appealing for you application-wise?  Will you be able to keep up on the applications of the liquid products? Do you have potted plants that would be best to protect with a liquid?  Or do you have a vegetable garden that you would prefer not to spray with an unappealing spray?  These are all sorts of questions that you should consider before making your purchase.  You may even want to switch up the products that you are using; use a granular in the spring when plants are growing fast and then switch over to a liquid in the summer when plants slow up.  You may even want to consider using a combination of products so that if one wears out, you can rely on the other to back you up.  These are all good options and it is just the matter of finding what will work best for you!

Thanks for reading,

Derek Satterfield

 

What’s New? Colorful Yeti Ramblers

yeti_ramblersNew this spring is a more colorful Yeti rambler!  The classic 20 oz stainless steel rambler has been wrapped up with a DuraCoat finish, making them even more durable, easier to grip and, of course, more fun than ever before.  Yeti 20 oz ramblers are now available in seafoam, bright Tahoe blue, black, and olive green.

Despite the added color, you are still getting the same great double-walled insulation that you expect from a Yeti travel mug.  The heavy insulation means that there is no-sweat even among the hot summer sun.  The wide mouth stainless steel travel mug is easy to clean and easy to drink from.  Stop by and see these new colors on display by our parking lot registers!

Helpful Tip: Use poster board to make a large paint sample

poster_board_paint_sampleNot sure if a paint color is right for your room.  Or wonder if creating an accent wall will “liven” up a room?  We recommend purchasing a small sample of paint and a piece of poster board.  Roll a coat of paint on the white poster board and WA-la, you have a large paint sample to take around the room, to judge both in the morning and the night, and to hold directly up against different materials or furniture inside the room.  The use of a white poster board will make sure that the color you are painting is a true representation of the actual color; color that is much truer than what you would get by simply rolling a single coat of paint over old walls that might have a dark or bright color on them already.  This is the easiest way to make sure that your next paint project will be one that you absolutely love!

We hope that you find benefit in this tip on your next paint project.  Thanks for reading.

Helpful Tip: Use ethanol free gas in your small power equipment

trufuel with echo trimmerIf you frequently have trouble starting small gasoline yard tools, especially after a long winter break… then consider the switch to an ethanol free gasoline, such as TruFuel.  No ethanol means less wear and tear on internal engine parts.  It also means that the gas does not degrade when it sits.  The result is fewer engine repairs and easier starts!

Now a days, gasoline may contain up to 10% ethanol.  It is the ethanol in gasoline that causes water to be absorbed and parts of the engine to corrode.  Eliminate these concerns, and rely on a gasoline that will stay fresh for years, thanks to 0% ethanol in TruFuel.  We stock this convenient gasoline in pre-mixed oil:gas ratios of 40:1 and 50:1, as well as straight gasoline for 4-cycle engines.

What’s Trending? Moss in Lawns

moss in lawnsMoss in our lawns has returned for many of us this spring.  However, for many more, moss has encroached on lawns for the first time in a long while.  Because of the mild winter and the frequent wet days, moss was able to get a foothold in our lawns through the winter.  It truly has seemed like one of the worst years for moss.

What can be done?  The good news is that moss is easy to kill with spray on or granular products.  We have solutions from Scotts and from Lilly Miller.  After about a week, the moss will turn black and be much easier to scrap loose from the soil.  Once removed, you can then move forward with planting grass seed.

How can moss be prevented from coming back next year?  Moss tends to thrive in shaded areas as well as soils that are acidic.  If possible, we would recommend thinning out nearby trees or removing scrappy plants that aren’t providing much good, and causing too much shade.  You can also apply a heavy dose of fast-acting lime to the problem areas which will quickly sweeten soils… making them more attractive for lawns and less so for moss.

Thanks for reading,

Derek Satterfield

Now’s the Time to: Start Vegetable and Flower Seeds Indoors

seed starting indoorsNow is a great time to start seedlings indoors for your vegetable or flower gardens.  With the increased desire to organic gardening, we have noticed more and more customers wanting to start their own seedlings for the garden.

By starting seeds in early April, you should notice spouts by the end of the month and you will be able to transplant them in early May to the outdoors.  It is perfect timing since the threat of frost will be behind us.

For more information on starting seedlings indoors, please reference our old blog article, seen here.

Spend a Little – Save a Lot: Drip Dry Chandelier Cleaner

chandelier cleanerWhile watching the newest release of The Beauty and the Beast, I found myself admiring all of the crystal chandeliers throughout the Beast’s castle (especially those during the famed dance).  That got me to thinking… how could one realistically clean all that crystal? I know that it is a movie, but how could anyone expect to clean all of the individual crystals in any reasonable amount of time?

The drip-dry chandelier cleaner from Extend-a-Finish is the answer to keeping 1 or many crystal chandeliers sparkling clean!  How does this cleaner work?  Simply spray this product over the chandelier and allow it to drip off the product.  You will have to spray on a generous amount of the product, so that you can encourage the liquid to drip.  Underneath the fixture, be sure to place a drop cloth or an old towel to soak up the drips that fall.  After the fixture has had a chance to dry, you are left with a beautifully clean crystal chandelier.  No wiping, no disassembly.

If you have crystal chandeliers, save lots of time and clean all of those nooks-and-crannies in a cinch, with the drip-dry chandelier cleaner from Extend-a-Finish.