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Mindful Green Living

8 Beautiful Yard Tricks

May 16, 2017

Easy Tricks to Make Your Backyard Summer-Beautiful

Skip the traditional, harsh chemical solutions that promise to make your backyard beautiful. Instead, try some green, alternative solutions to tackle simple projects in your backyard and garden. These everyday items are a snap to find and easy to use.

  1. Protect your plants with beer! If you’ve had your flowerbed disappear overnight thanks to slugs and snails, you know how hard they are to get rid of. Easy solution? Fill a saucer with beer, put it where the critters tend to invade and leave out overnight. These pests are attracted to the scent and taste of beer, and will just in, get drunk and drown – leaving your flowers untouched!
  2. Green up your grass with tea bags! Got bare patches on your lawn? Before laying down grass seed, place some wet tea bags over the spots, and they’ll get green twice as fast! Tea provides tannic acid and nutrients that help grass grow! Got a bigger patch to fix? Dust it with powdered iced tea mix, and then lightly water to help it soak right into the soil.
  3. Repair a garden hose with chewing gum! Got a small leak in your rubber hose? Chew a piece of your favorite gum, then use it to cover the hole. “Spread it out over the area so it becomes a putty, then leave on overnight so it can fully harden,” says Joey Green, author of Fix-It Magic. This trick works so well, American soldiers were given gum in their ration kits in WWII to repair tires and gas hoses!
  4. Make wood furniture look like new with Crisco! If your wooden deck furniture has faded or dried out, don’t buy a special stain or polish. Instead, rub vegetable shortening into the wood surface and buff with a cloth. The oils soak into treat, protect, and moisturize the wood, and give it a shine.
  5. Make your garden grow faster with Jell-O! Want your plants and flowers to thrive, but reluctant to use chemical fertilizers? Sprinkle powdered Jell-O mix on them instead! Jell-O’s gelatin delivers nitrogen, which speeds sprouting and powers plant growth, while its sugar feeds microbes in the soil that produce fertilizing nutrients.
  6. Clean your grill with cooking spray! Open your grill after all this time to find it’s not as sparkly as you’d like? Spritz it with cooking spray and turn it on for 10 minutes, advises Green. “The oil gets between the metal and burned-on food and loosens it.” And because oil is flammable, anything it doesn’t get rid of will burn right off. Once the grill cools, use a balled-up piece of aluminum foil to shine it up!
  7. Mildew-proof your deck with vinegar! The harsh winter leave behind stains, marks, and mildew on your cushions or deck? Spray with undiluted white vinegar, leave on for an hour or two, then rinse clean. Vinegar is a natural antibacterial, disinfectant and antifungal; it not only kills germs and mold on contact, it also stops them from growing back!
  8. Get plastic furniture clean with shaving cream! Just foam it on vinyl cushions and plastic, rub in with a sponge and hose it off, says Green. Shaving cream is basically just condensed soap, plus skin-softening ingredients that help loosen tough stains so they lift off easily. “And it wipes away more quickly and easily than other cleaners.” Bonus: It also polishes metal furniture! Use a soft-bristled toothbrush on tough spots.

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