Gardening

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Eliminating Driveway Blemishes Improves Property Value and Curb Appeal

Brilliant Driveways -- An Easy Do-It-Yourself Project



(ARA) - Every homeowner wants a beautiful, maintenance-free blacktop driveway, but most asphalt driveways suffer from pavement discolorations like skid marks and oil stains, or damage like rock salt pits, scrapes, gouges and cracks. 

A small crack can easily overtake entire driveway slabs and petroleum stains may give the impression of run-down property. Simple do-it-yourself maintenance can repair damage, improve property appearance and eliminate the costly and often inconvenient process of hiring and managing a contractor. 

Professional grade driveway resurfacing products are now available for homeowners at home centers like Home Depot and hardware stores nationwide. These professional grade products are easy to apply, can improve driveway traction and make virtually any driveway look brand new.

To restore the rich black color of an asphalt driveway in one easy coat, homeowners need to select a premium driveway resurfacing product rather than a driveway sealer. The best known product in this class is the Henry 532 Driveway Resurfacer, a no-stir black gel that is applied with a squeegee and has a six-year stay-black warranty. 

Be sure to follow all included instructions on any resurfacing product, and select products that have the application steps printed on the package. Follow these basic steps for a perfect driveway resurfacing job. 
 

Easy Fall Propagation Techniques

As a home gardener, fall should be a very special time for you. Fall is the best season of the year for plant propagation, especially for home gardeners who do not have the luxury of intermittent mist. The technique that I am going to describe here can be equally effective for evergreens as well as many deciduous plants. 

The old rule of thumb was to start doing hardwood cuttings of evergreens after you have experienced at least two hard freezes. After two hard freezes the plants are completely dormant. However, based on my experience it is beneficial to start doing your evergreen cuttings earlier than that. So instead of doing “by the book” hardwood cuttings you’re actually working with semi-hardwood cuttings. The down side to starting your cuttings early is that they will have to be watered daily unless you experience rain showers. The up side is that they will start rooting sooner, and therefore are better rooted when you pull them out to transplant them. 

To prepare an area in which to root cuttings you must first select a site. An area that is about 50% shaded will work great. Full sun will work, it just requires that you tend to the cuttings more often. Clear all grass or other vegetation from the area that you have selected. The size of the area is up to you. Realistically, you can fit about one cutting per square inch of bed area. You might need a little more area per cutting, it depends on how close you stick the cuttings in the sand. 

Once you have an area cleared off all you have to do is build a wooden frame and lay it on the ground in the area that you cleared. Your frame is a simple as four 2 by 4’s or four 2 by 6’s nailed together at each corner. It will be open on the top and open on the bottom. Just lay it on the ground in the cleared area, and fill it with a coarse grade of sand.