Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Landscaping Issues and solutions

I am a frustrated gardener. I do not know if it's the scorching heat of summer or my purple thumb which makes our garden slowly dying. the Cedar trees that Lito planted are now turning brown and the lawn grass too. The only spot that has still green grass is the area inside the fence. Well, there is a shade there and the big tree from the neighbors are protecting that part of our garden. Lito surprised the kids with a fountain to make the garden a little exciting.

Anyway, I am copying an article from a home sale magazine on how to make your garden and landscaping a beautiful one without spending a lot. Here are some of the common landscaping issues and how to correct them:

Sparse, Brown lawn

If the lawn is looking sparse and brown, likely the culprit is thatch. Thatch is the layer of dead grass, leaves and stems that block the water and nutrients from reaching the roots. To revive the grass, remove this layer and prime the lawn for strong regrowth. a power rake is the easiest way to get rid of the layer of thatch. then use an aerator to poke holes in the dirt so that nutrients, air and moisture can get to the roots.


No single method will eliminate all weeds. Here are some tips on the most common weeds and how to get rid of them:

Dandelion - it's important to dig the dandelions before they go to seed. Spot treat dandelions with a broadleaf weed killer.
White Clover - This weed can quickly spread on undernourished lawns. Combat by watering regularly and applying nitrogen fertilizer. spot treat.
Crab Grass - If it's early in the season, consider applying a pre-emergence crabgrass herbicide. Because crabgrass thrives on shorter lawns, set your mower to a higher setting, about 2-3 inches.

Overgrown hedges , shrubs and trees

Trimmed hedges and trees make a yard look perfectly manicured. A tree trimmer, chainsaw are some of the tools used but is safer and more economical to just have it done by professional than having it done all over again.

Wilting and dead plants

If the outdoor plants are turning brown or wilting, it's likely that they need water. Or it's easy for plant novices to overwater -which can kill the plants just as easily as under watering them. Watering during peak sun hours will cause most of the water to evaporate and little will reach the plants roots. Water during the early morning or late evening hours.

Striped lawn

If you have alternate lines of green grass that alternate with yellow of brown stripes, like the cause is uneven fertilizer application. The trick to fertilizing evenly with a drop spreader is overlapping wheel tracks by an inch or two. This will ensure no area gets missed and any potential for stripes is eliminated.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Korean glass noodles

Happy birthday to me!

korean glass noodles – jap chae/chap chae recipe

Serves 4-6 as part of multicourse meal
1/2 pound dried Korean sweet potato noodles
2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon cooking oil
3/4 cup thinly sliced onions
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 stalks green onions, cut into 1″ lengths
1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced (shitake, wood ear)
1/2 lb spinach, washed well and drained
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Fill a large pot with water and boil. When water is boiling, add the noodles and cook for 5 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again and toss with only 1 tsp of the sesame oil. Use kitchen shears to cut noodles into shorter pieces, about 8 inches in length. Set aside.
In bowl, mix soy sauce & sugar together. Add the cooking oil in a wok or large saute pan on high heat and swirl to coat. When the cooking oil is hot but not smoking, fry onions and carrots, until just softened, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, green onions and mushrooms, fry 30 seconds. Then add the spinach, soy sauce, sugar and the noodles. Fry 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked through. Turn off heat, toss with sesame seeds and the remaining 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil.
*rehydrate your mushrooms if you are using dried