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Depending on the size of your household, tackling the laundry might be a weekly or even daily chore. But take a deep breath — fresh scents and laundry tips and tricks are all ahead!
Barring big spills, sweat or stains, rewear pieces like sweaters and jeans, or use items like bath towels 3–4 times if you hang them to dry after use.
Put the fabric softener aside (it only traps and worsens odors over time). Instead, add a cup of baking soda to the washer as it fills to get workout clothes that are fresh as new. Be sure to wash in cold water, as heat can damage stretchy fabrics.
Kids who can operate cell phones and video game controllers with finesse can do their own laundry and put it away, too. Show them how, then make it a rule: unless they wash their clothes themselves, they won’t have anything to wear.
Since cold water cleans clothes just as well as hot, you don’t need to separate white, color and dark loads. If you prefer separating by type — that is, a load of towels, a load of delicates, a load of gym clothes — go for it. Otherwise, everything can go in the drum at once.
Seriously! The vast majority of clothes will get clean in cold water with today’s detergents (but if you’re not convinced, try a cold-water detergent). There’s an added benefit, too: you’ll save on your electric bill since you aren’t heating anywhere from 15–45 gallons of hot water per load. Plus, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint by hundreds of pounds of carbon emissions per year.
If your washing machine has a self-cleaning function, use it every few months. Otherwise, there are a couple easy ways to clean it. Whatever you add, be sure to leave clothes out!
For top-loading machines: Set to the highest temperature and capacity, and the longest cycle. Add four cups of white vinegar to the hot water and let the washer run as usual.
For front-loading machines: Add white vinegar to the bleach dispenser, filling to its maximum level. Run it on hot (or the stain cycle) with an additional rinse cycle.
View Original Article Here: https://www.mymagazine.us/mm/#/articles/1905/561
Click here to read my August Newsletter
Wildflowers can do a lot of good for bees and other local pollinators, giving a boost to your local ecosystem and adding some beauty to boot. If the flower is from an invasive species, though, even something useful can cause a lot of harm over time. How are you supposed to keep all of this straight, so you’ll know what to pull and what to leave alone?
So what is a weed? It’s an unwanted plant, sure, but it is also a plant that will compete with your existing flowers and other plant life for resources. A good example of this is clover in your lawn. As time goes by, the clover out-competes the grass and largely takes over your yard. You’ll face similar problems with any weed if it manages to become established.
One of the things that makes weeds so competitive is that most of the time you can’t just pull them up and be done with them. Dandelions are typically considered a weed, and even if you pull up a dandelion early you’ll still see more in your yard. This is because they have deep root systems that continue growing even if the flower is pulled free. Really getting rid of weeds means figuring out what the weeds are and what the proper way to eliminate them is.
Some weeds (including the dandelions and clovers mentioned above) produce flowers and are usually frequented by bees and other pollinators. Despite this, they’re still considered weeds instead of wildflowers. So what’s the difference between the two?
The primary difference between weeds and wildflowers is how they grow. Weeds tend to spread once established, growing to consume as many additional resources as they can and spreading their seeds as far as possible. Wildflowers are not as aggressive with their growth, instead growing densely in an area and spreading out from that area at a slower pace. This is why wildflowers are not generally considered competitive with existing plants; they aren’t likely to overrun an area in a short period of time and are much easier to contain to a single area.
One thing to keep in mind is that both weeds and wildflowers can be considered invasive. For that matter, even some of the plants you buy at nurseries are considered invasive in some regions! An invasive plant species is one that is not native to the area, so other species aren’t able to compete with it as effectively as they would with plants that are native to the area.
This can be very problematic. Invasive species typically have different resource requirements than native species, so as they grow and spread, they may use resources in a way that shifts the balance of the local ecosystem. This shift can be very bad for local species, giving the invader a much stronger competitive advantage for those resources. In some cases, invasive species can actually eradicate native strains from the local area!
If you want to promote the growth of wildflowers while getting rid of weeds and invasive plants, you need to learn to identify them. Search online to find out which weeds and invasive plants are common in your area, taking the time to search for images online so you can identify them even with slight variations in their appearances. There are also smartphone apps available that identify plants with a high degree of accuracy which you can use to identify weeds and invasive plants.
Another option is to take photos or clippings of the plants in question to your local agricultural extension office. They should be able to identify the plant for you and can also tell you whether it’s a weed or an invasive plant. If it needs to be removed, they can also provide suggestions for the most effective removal techniques.
If you’re not sure whether the plants in your yard are a burden or a boon, you might want to call in a landscaping professional to set things straight. HomeKeepr can help you to find the right pro for your needs with recommendations you can trust, so sign up today to get your yard in top shape!
From HOMEKEEPER-August 2019