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How to treat dog spots on grass

<p>Round patches on the lawn about 100mm wide with dead grass in the middle and dark green at the edges are called dog spots.</p> <p>The patches occur when a dog wees in the same area a number of times and the high concentration of acids, salts and nitrogen in the urine burns the grass roots.</p> <p>Dig out the dead spots and replant the affected area by adding topsoil and grass seed to match the surrounding area. </p> <p>Prevent spots by giving the dog plenty of water to make its urine less concentrated and soak its favourite areas of lawn to flush salts out of the root zone before they kill the grass. </p> <p>Train the pet to urinate in a special spot and cover the area with mulch. </p> <p><strong>Step 1: Hose the spot</strong></p> <p>Hose the spot until the grass is soaking to dilute the urine acids and salts and wash them deeper into the soil, away from the grass roots.</p> <p><strong>Step 2: Scrape dead grass</strong></p> <p>Scrape up the dead grass with a hand rake to remove it then rough up the area to loosen the soil to 20mm deep as seeds germinate better in soft soil.</p> <p><strong>Step 3: Sprinkle topsoil</strong></p> <p>Sprinkle topsoil in a thin layer then add an even amount of grass seed, covering with another thin layer of soil. Keep the area moist until the new grass is about 50mm high</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/treat-dog-spots-grass"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Hillary and Bill Clinton give rare glimpse inside their not so humble abode

<p>Hillary Clinton has given <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/clinton-washington-dc-home" target="_blank"><em>Architectural Design</em></a> a tour of the home she shares with husband Bill Clinton, which is a 510 square metre Neo-Georgian red brick house in Washington, D.C.</p> <p>The house was built in 1951 and is called ‘Whitehaven’ because it sits on a street of the same name.</p> <p>Hillary came across the house in 2000, which was the last year of her husband’s US presidency.</p> <p>"It was an emotional reaction," she told the magazine.</p> <p>"When I was elected to the Senate in 2000, I knew that I needed a place to live while we were in session during the year. So I began looking.</p> <p>"I had an experience in this house, which was just emotional."</p> <p>However, the house required extensive renovations according to the interior designer who worked with Hillary on the project from 2003 to 2006.</p> <p>“The mandate was to bring more light and to create more physical space for sitting and relaxing,” says Rosemarie Howe, the interior designer who worked with Hillary on the project.</p> <p>“We also wanted to open the house and all of its interior rooms to this beautiful back garden.”</p> <p>Howe also shared her thoughts on the bathrooms and the kitchen.</p> <p>“It was kind of this Ozzie and Harriet house and it had never been updated. The bathrooms were sort of '50s.</p> <p>"The kitchen was functional but very outdated, too. The people who had lived there before were very tall, so counters and things were quite high.”</p> <p>Renovating the house was a family affair for the Clintons as Hillary’s mother Dorothy Rodham helped her daughter as well as the interior designer.</p> <p>“It was a joy working with my mom and Rosemarie,” said Hillary.</p> <p>“Both my mother and I love colour, and you can see, we have a lot of colour in the house that came from our collaboration.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see inside Hillary and Bill Clinton's home.</p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/clinton-washington-dc-home" target="_blank">Architectural Digest</a></em></p>

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The ultimate guide to stacking your dishwasher

<p>Believe it or not but there is an art in stacking your dishwasher. While some may just throw the dishes in whichever way they deem fit, there are a few rules to follow to ensure your using space to its full potential.</p> <p>Consumer advocacy group Choice Australia has revealed some of the best tips and tricks when it comes to stacking your dishwasher to help achieve the cleanest dishes possible.</p> <p><strong>Never place wood, aluminium or copper in the dishwasher</strong></p> <p>While most items are safe to stack, there are a few exceptions.</p> <p>It’s recommended that anything made of wood, such as chopping boards, rolling pins and wooden spoons should not be placed inside a dishwasher, as the material tends to absorb odours and flavours of the surrounding dishes.</p> <p>Good quality knives and fine china should also be avoided, as the water pressure can damage the cutlery and ruin the detailing.</p> <p>Anything that consists of a “reactive metal” should be handwashed, which means items made from aluminium and copper should stay away from the dishwasher.</p> <p><strong>Don’t bother pre-washing dishes</strong></p> <p>It’s a habit that most people fall into before loading up their dishwasher, but your favourite dishwashing tablet has enough power to remove all surface stains without you having to give it a pre-wash.</p> <p>Just be sure to scrape any excess food scraps beforehand, to avoid the filter from clogging up.</p> <p><strong>Make sure the dirtiest dishes go in the middle</strong></p> <p>The answer to squeaky clean dishes is placement so write this next part down.</p> <p>Plastics should always go on the top shelf to reduce the risk of melting, the same applies for anything made of glass.</p> <p>Sometimes the spinning fan can miss the corners of the dishwasher so it’s a good idea to put the dirtiest dishes right in the middle for the most effective clean.</p> <p>Lastly, place each and every plate and bowl downwards to avoid dirty water and don’t stack them on top of each other.</p>

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Inside Dannii Minogue's stylish $2.7 million Melbourne home

<p>Dannii Minogue, 47, has put her "very private" home in Melbourne on the market for $2.6 million. The 780 square metre home is set to go to auction on June 22.</p> <p>The house features four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a two-car garage, a large pool and spa, as well as a large outdoor entertaining area.</p> <p>Since buying the property in 2010 when she was with then partner, Kris Smith – who she shares 8-year-old son Ethan with – Minogue has done a luxurious renovation on the spacious home, giving the lounge room and dining area a makeover since she first bought it.</p> <p>Director and auctioneer Campbell Ward told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-7080727/Dannii-Minogue-lists-stylish-Melbourne-pad-auction-cool-2-6-million.html" target="_blank"><em>Daily Mail Australia</em></a> that the home has a guide of $2.6 million.</p> <p>“It's a very good home. It has been really well looked after and is quite a large home,” Ward said.</p> <p>“It is very private and it is surprisingly spacious,” he added.</p> <p>“It has a really good entertainment area out the back and is in a really good location with lots of schools around.”</p> <p>East Hawthorn is an affluent suburb which is just nine kilometres east of Melbourne’s CBD and is a short distance from the singer and TV host’s parents’ home in Surrey Hills.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to take a tour inside the luxurious home.</p> <p><em>Photo credits: <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.domain.com.au/466-tooronga-road-hawthorn-east-vic-3123-2015308045" target="_blank">Domain</a> </em></p>

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“How do they get Archie to sleep?” Royal fans' inside glimpse of Harry and Meghan's home

<div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Royal fans were given a rare opportunity to wander through the grounds of Frogmore House this week, allowing them to get an inside look into the lives of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.</p> <p>The royal couple moved into Frogmore Cottage, on the Frogmore Estate in Windsor, earlier this year in May in preparation for the birth of their first child, baby Archie.</p> <p>Today fans were able to take a tour around the royal retreat as part of a special charity event for the National Garden Scheme.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Lovely morning at Frogmore House and Gardens, before the crowds descended and the rain came 🌹🌸<br /><br />I felt like a VIP driving down the Long Walk! <a href="https://twitter.com/NGSOpenGardens?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NGSOpenGardens</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/visitwindsor?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@visitwindsor</a> <a href="https://t.co/4Bgfw1vENs">pic.twitter.com/4Bgfw1vENs</a></p> — Anne Robinson (@robbo_anne) <a href="https://twitter.com/robbo_anne/status/1133345024974962690?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 28, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>While visitors were not allowed within 20 feet of Frogmore Cottage, some took a moment to “peer into” the windows and were unable to spot the new parents.</p> <p>Some royal fans claimed they were able to walk past the gate of the cottage while others said they took photographs of the cottage despite being warned by police not to.</p> <p>Although the gardens and estate are a sight to behold, many visitors made comments on the loud sound of planes flying overhead, while others wondered how the newborn royal manages to sleep through the constant noise.</p> <p>Heathrow Airport is located just kilometres away from the Frogmore Estate, with 14 flights passing within just one kilometre of the house every 30 minutes.</p> <p>The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are reported to have spent a staggering AUD$91,000 on soundproofing their home, in order to block out the loud noise.</p> <p>One royal fan said it was maddening how close they and other visitors got to the home of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan.</p> <p>“'Couple of windows open and two shiny cars out front so someone's there ... Mad how close you can get,” they wrote.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Frogmore House and Garden Windsor <a href="https://t.co/rT6O8Veb5a">pic.twitter.com/rT6O8Veb5a</a></p> — Brendan byrne (@BLENDENNIS) <a href="https://twitter.com/BLENDENNIS/status/1133476513913987072?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 28, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“Although how they're getting Archie to sleep under this flight path is beyond me. Absolute racket.”</p> <p>Frogmore House and Gardens are open to the public only three days of the year in honour of Charity Open Days where all the proceeds made from granting entrance to visitors goes towards selected organisations.</p> <p>The gardens this year were open to visitors from May 28 to May 30.</p> <p>Proceeds made from May 29 will go towards the British Heart Foundation and the last open day will be given to the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div></div>

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3 simple ways to reduce dust in your home

<p>Dust. The bane of everyone’s existence. It seems that no matter how many times you remove the pesky particles from your home, they always manage to come back stronger than ever.</p> <p>While it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to live a dust-free life permanently, there are ways to reduce to amount you’re surrounded with – which isn’t great for your health either.</p> <p><strong>1. Take your shoes off</strong></p> <p>Believe it or not, shoes bring about a lot of dust, and it makes sense as to why. The same shoes you’ve been parading around in the great outdoors are sure to bring unwelcome visitors inside the home.</p> <p>The easiest way to follow this step is to keep a shoe rack besides your door, so as soon as you walk towards the entryway, you’re reminded to remove any footwear.</p> <p><strong>2. Wash your bed sheets weekly</strong></p> <p>Now this is something everyone should be doing anyway. Bedsheets are breeding grounds for dust and bacteria. With dead skin accumulating on your comforter, it’s important to give it a good wash every week.</p> <p>Dust is made predominantly from dead skin, and while it sounds disgusting, it may be the motivation you need to wash your sheets.</p> <p><strong>3. Vacuum upholstery</strong></p> <p>Upholstered furniture and décor looks beautiful inside the home, but attracts dust like nothing else. That doesn’t mean you should get rid of everything inside your house, but instead, give your sofas, curtains and mattresses a good blast with the vacuum to suck everything right up.</p>

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How to help your indoor garden thrive

<p>Plants bring life and colour into the home and require little in the way of maintenance. Follow these simple tips and your plants should flourish.</p> <p><strong>Position plants carefully</strong></p> <p>Look for the best place in the house for each plant, and don’t be afraid to try different locations until you find the best spot</p> <p><strong>Re-create a forest floor</strong></p> <p>If a room seems too dark to sustain a healthy plant, don’t be fooled. Most indoor plants originate in tropical and subtropical regions, in particular equatorial forests, and they thrive in dim environments and filtered light. The ideal spot is in front of a large window facing east or west, filtered if necessary through a net scrim curtain.</p> <p><strong>Sun-lovers face north</strong></p> <p>If you have a plant that thrives on lots of sun, place it on a windowsill facing north or north-east. Check soil moisture levels regularly and inspect the leaves to check they are not being burned. At the slightest sign of withering, move the plant towards the middle of the room. </p> <p><strong>Plants for the bathroom</strong></p> <p>Ferns and other moisture-loving plants do best in vaporous rooms like bathrooms where they can lap up regular doses of mist.</p> <p><strong>Water from the bottom</strong></p> <p>Water poured directly onto the soil may flood, or not reach the pot plant’s roots. Instead, water plants bottom up by standing them in a dish and filling the dish with water. Delicate plants such as fuchsias thrive on this method. For this method to work, all pots should have holes in the bottom through which the water is absorbed</p> <p><strong>Keep away from drafts</strong></p> <p>If you don’t want your plant to die of heat or cold, avoid placing it in draughty areas or near ducted heat or air-conditioning outlets.</p> <p><em>Written by Brenda Schmerl. This article first appeared in </em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/gardening-tips/how-help-your-indoor-garden-thrive"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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5 steps to a green winter lawn

<p>The backyard tends to get neglected in winter as cool weather keeps people indoors. When there’s less sun to produce chlorophyll, grass growth is slowed and the lawn colour fades. </p> <p><strong>1. Give it some air</strong></p> <p>The lawn compacts when people or vehicles move over it regularly and wet soil is even more prone to this problem. Test by pushing in a garden fork, if it won’t go in far then the lawn needs aerating.</p> <p><strong><u>FOR SMALL LAWNS</u></strong> Wiggle a fork into the soil across the entire area every 100mm, opening up the soil so oxygen and water can get to the roots. </p> <p><strong><u>FOR BIG LAWNS</u></strong> aerate the soil by hiring a lawn corer, for about $85 for four hours, from <a href="http://www.kennards.com.au/">Kennards Hire</a>. </p> <p><strong>2. Check the pH</strong></p> <p>Measure the acidity or alkalinity of the soil using a pH test kit, $13 from nurseries or hardware stores. The ideal level is between 6.5 and 7. Below 6.5 means soil is acidic and needs a handful of dolomite for every square metre followed by a good soaking. Above 7 means the soil is alkaline.</p> <p><strong>3. Feed the lawn </strong></p> <p>Use a fertiliser spreader for even distribution of a slow-release lawn fertiliser such as Yates Lush Lawn Lifter. </p> <p>Also add a soil-wetting agent in preparation for warmer, drier weather. Always water lawns well after feeding as the fertiliser can burn the grass if it’s left on dry. </p> <p><strong><u>TIP </u></strong>To avoid disease and rot from too much moisture, water in winter only after a long period without rain.</p> <p><strong>4. Cut for growth</strong></p> <p>Mow the lawn every three to four weeks. Set the blade height to cut weeds and just the tip of the grass to leave a larger leaf surface area to capture sunlight, increasing the photosynthesis process. </p> <p><strong>5. Zap the weeds</strong></p> <p>Weeds flourish in weakened winter grass so dig them out of small lawns with a trowel or garden fork. Spray larger areas with weed killer.</p> <p><em>Written by Jecca Blake. Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/5-steps-green-winter-lawn"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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How to build a picket fence

<p>A picket fence is ideal for Federation homes and consists of a number of evenly spaced pickets attached to two horizontal rails supported by posts spaced about 2m apart.</p> <p>You can build a fence by cutting all the pickets the same length, or you can create a curved look by adjusting their lengths and attaching the shortest in the centre and the longest at the ends.</p> <p>To build the fence, temporarily position the posts to check the height, then cut the rail housings. Sink the posts in the ground with concrete and leave to set. Secure the rails in the housings, then attach the pickets. </p> <p><strong>Secure the pickets </strong></p> <p>The key to building a professional-looking fence is to keep the picket’s level and evenly spaced. Use spacers to make sure the gaps are even, aligning the tops of the pickets with a stringline set between the posts.</p> <p><strong>Step 1: Make pilot hole</strong></p> <p>Make a pilot hole jig by drilling two pairs of 3mm holes into a picket aligned to each of the rails. Offset the pairs of holes 15mm from the edges to prevent twisting. Position the jig to drill into three pickets at a time.</p> <p><strong>Step 2: Set pickets</strong></p> <p>Set out the pickets using two 33mm wide spacers made from offcuts with a cross member so they can hang off the rails. Mark out the picket positions with even spacing, starting at the centre of the rails and working towards either side.</p> <p><strong>Step 3: Prepare pickets</strong></p> <p>Prepare the pickets by cutting them to size with a mitresaw, sanding with 150 grit abrasive paper, then priming and painting. Secure each picket using two 45mm x 8g square drive treated pine screws, checking for plumb with a level.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/build-picket-fence"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Do you wash this body part in the shower? Simple question sparks huge online debate

<p>Showering seems to be a pretty straightforward task – turn on the water, lather, clean and rinse. However, a simple question about a common shower habit has taken Twitter by storm, dividing people all over the Internet.</p> <p>The burning question came from American writer and graphic designer Conor Arpwel, who posted a poll on his account on Friday.</p> <p>“Do you wash your legs when you take a shower?” he asked.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Do you wash your legs when you take a shower?</p> — Conor Arpwel 🌹🧰🌾 (@Arpwel) <a href="https://twitter.com/Arpwel/status/1126594900055793671?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Within 24 hours, Arpwel’s post went viral with an overwhelming number of responses. At the time of writing, more than 816,000 people had voted on the poll, with the majority (81 per cent) saying they wash their legs.</p> <p>Many of the leg-washers have expressed confusion over the idea of skipping the lower body parts in the shower. “Are there people who do not feel the need to... wash their legs...” one asked.</p> <p>“I’ve spent awhile thinking about all the reasons not to wash every inch of your body while in the shower and I couldn’t find one,” another commented.</p> <p>“Everyone who voted no, think about all the toilet seats you’ve sat on and wash those thighs!” one urged.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none"> <p dir="ltr">I wash everything. What is this question?</p> — Ms.TymberleeChanel (@TymberleeHill) <a href="https://twitter.com/TymberleeHill/status/1126964650233430016?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 10, 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none"> <p dir="ltr">so people really just walking around with clean everything else but dirty legs I- <a href="https://t.co/C7EoUwRnrl">pic.twitter.com/C7EoUwRnrl</a></p> — 𝒥𝑜𝓇𝒹𝓎𝓃🧸 (@prettyprncesss) <a href="https://twitter.com/prettyprncesss/status/1127013395948089345?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 11, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Non-leg-washers have their own explanation. “I only [wash my legs] if I’ve been bare legged or to the gym and they feel sweaty,” one shared. “I used to but when I got eczema on my legs I had to stop as soap made it worse and I was told not to use SLS soaps. It's bad for your skin and mostly unnecessary.”</p> <p>Another replied, “They've been safe inside my pants, the whole day. What's the problem?”</p> <p>One believed the trickle-down effect is enough to keep their lower body clean. “I feel like my legs don’t get dirty,” they wrote. “Plus, soap and shampoo run down my legs when I’m showering.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Does the shower not automatically do that?</p> — The Sassiest Semite (@LittleMissLizz) <a href="https://twitter.com/LittleMissLizz/status/1127026932791566336?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 11, 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none"> <p dir="ltr">I'm tired of hiding in the shadows, which is why I'm coming forward to say... I don't wash my legs. Soap is not good for your skin! I wash all the parts of me that get smelly, the soapy water washes over the rest of me, but I feel no need to scrub all of my skin, thanks</p> — ghostmeow 🌹 (@ghostmeow) <a href="https://twitter.com/ghostmeow/status/1126954148249915393?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 10, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>As the question’s creator, Arpwel stated his position on the matter. “Leg washing is an important component of my cleanliness regimen, but also I’m not out to get people who don’t wash their legs for various reasons,” he wrote.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">My name is Conor Arpwel and I am a leg washer<br /><br />Leg washing is an important component of my cleanliness regimen, but also I’m not out to get people who don’t wash their legs for various reasons<br /><br />I only meant for this whole thing to be a fun &amp; frivolous topic of conversation lol</p> — Conor Arpwel 🌹🧰🌾 (@Arpwel) <a href="https://twitter.com/Arpwel/status/1126889261129719816?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 10, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>A dermatologist has previously shared his two cents on the subject. “Unless your legs are visibly soiled, you don't actually need to wash them directly with a cleanser,” Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a19902843/should-you-wash-your-legs/" target="_blank"><em>Women’s Health</em></a>. “The cleanser that drips down your body is enough to remove most of the dirt and sweat that accumulates during the day.”</p>

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New research exposes big plastic bag myth

<p>If you’re someone who uses biodegradable plastic bags for the greater good of the environment, then unfortunately, there’s some bad news.</p> <p>Plastic bags that claim to be biodegradable are anything but. A new research has revealed in some instances, bags can still carry a full load of shopping three years after they were disposed.</p> <p>Disposable bags are supposed to be the solution to the worrying problems our planet is currently facing, with the plastic expected to decompose when buried in landfill or washed into sea.</p> <p>Published in <em>Environmental Science and Technology</em>, the study researched biodegradable, oxo-biodegradable, compostable and standard plastic bag over three years.</p> <p>The bags were then exposed to three different environments: open air, buried in soil and submerged in seawater. They also studied the bag in laboratory conditions. Depending on the environment they were in, the bags reacted different.</p> <p>When left in the open-air for nine months, all bag materials dissolved into fragments. When exposed to water, the bag disintegrated within three months, and when buried in soil, the environmentally friendly bag was still around after 27 months but was unusable due to tearing.</p> <p>But two of the bags, which are termed as oxo-biodegradable, spent three years in the ground or underneath seawater, and could still carry a load of shopping.</p> <p>“It is therefore not clear that the oxo-biodegradable or biodegradable formulations provide sufficiently advanced rates of deterioration,” wrote researchers from the UK’s University of Plymouth.</p> <p>Professor Richard Thompson, of the International Marine Litter Research Unit claims that come bags may be responsible for polluting our oceans as people expect them to decompose.</p> <p>“This research raises a number of questions about what the public might expect when they see something labelled as biodegradable. We demonstrate here that the materials tested did not present any consistent, reliable and relevant advantage in the context of marine litter,” he said.</p>

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How to grow fresh berries and grapes

<p>The old saying ‘You are what you eat’ is proving more and more true. Scientific research increasingly supports the notion that what we ingest has value far beyond satisfying hunger.<br /> <br />The evidence is mounting that certain foods affect our bodies and directly influence our health.<br /> <br />A number of foods are so packed with vitamins, antioxidants and other beneficial substances that they have been dubbed superfoods.</p> <p>The powerful antioxidant anthocyanin, a red pigment, is found in all red, purple and blue fruit. This is why black grapes,blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are among the most antioxidant-rich superfoods. </p> <p>Blueberries actually contain so much anthocyanin that it turns the berries a deep blue.</p> <p>Antioxidants block the formation of the cell-damaging free radicals that accelerate ageing, harm arteries and induce cancerous cell changes.</p> <p>And some nutritionists go so far as to say that superfoods can even help you live longer.</p> <p>Not only do black grapes, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries pack a powerful nutritional punch, they are also easy to grow at home.</p> <p>June is a good month to get strawberry runners, blueberry plants, raspberry canes and grapevines into the ground for a spring and summer harvest.</p> <p>There are varieties available for growing in pots, which are ideal for compact gardens or small households that only need a few plants.   </p> <p><strong>Blueberries</strong></p> <p>Often referred to as brain or youth berries, blueberries are among the top superfoods. Studies show they could even slow cognitive decline.</p> <p>They contain very few kilojoules, so they’re great for people watching their weight, and they are also said to help replenish collagen in the skin. </p> <p>Native to America, blueberries were picked in the wild for centuries by Native Americans, who ate them fresh, then dried them for winter use. </p> <p>Blueberries are related to azaleas and rhododendrons and like similar growing conditions. </p> <p>The light aroma of their delicate bell-shaped, pinkish-white flowers attracts bees for pollination. </p> <p><strong>POSITION</strong> in a spot that receives at least half to a full day of sun to ensure the fruit ripens well. They can also be grown in pots. </p> <p><strong>SOIL</strong> needs to be rich in organic matter, so dig in some well-rotted compost before planting. Blueberries like an acidic soilwith a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. This can easily be checked with a pH testing kit and adding a product such as Yates Acitone helps increase soil acidity. </p> <p><strong>WATER</strong> regularly, as shallow-rooted blueberries don’t like to dry out. To prevent fungal disease and the fruit rotting, water at ground level. </p> <p><strong>FEED </strong>with a plant food formulated for azaleas or rhododendrons.</p> <p><strong>MULCH</strong> with lucerne hay or straw to keep the soil moist.  </p> <p><strong>PRUNE</strong> out weak and diseased wood to keep the centre of the bush open, then remove flowers in the first year to encourage growth. </p> <p><strong>Raspberries </strong></p> <p>A freshly picked raspberry from a homegrown bush tastes so much better than most shop-bought fruit. </p> <p>Raspberries are easy to grow and are best planted in a bed of their own. Unlike other bramble fruit, they pull free of the core when picked.</p> <p>If you have enough space in your backyard, plant raspberries in rows that run from north to south, which will ensure that both sides of the plant get sunlight. </p> <p><strong>POSITION</strong> in a sunny spot protected from strong winds. </p> <p>Raspberries prefer cool climates, but certain varieties, such as ‘Heritage’, will grow in warmer areas, provided they are planted in a position that is protected from the hot afternoon sun. </p> <p><strong>SOIL </strong>must be well drained and raised garden beds are ideal.</p> <p><strong>WATER</strong> the plants regularly, especially when the fruit is forming.</p> <p><strong>FEED</strong> with compost or old manure in spring and summer. </p> <p><strong>MULCH</strong> around the roots with lucerne hay to keep weeds at bay. </p> <p><strong>PRUNE</strong> in winter to encourage an abundance of fruit. </p> <p>Remove all the canes that held fruit during the previous season. The new canes produced are left to crop in the following season and can be tied<br />to a wire or trellis support. </p> <p>Select only strong, healthy canes and remove any weak, spindly ones. </p> <p>It is not difficult to tell which canes to prune because you simply remove the canes that were tied the previous season. </p> <p><strong>Grapes</strong></p> <p>We’ve all been told that a glass or two of red wine a day can be good for our health. That’s because black grapes, which are used to make red<br />wine, are the highest in antioxidants and most of the compounds are found in the skin.</p> <p>You still get the same health benefits from non-alcoholic red wine.</p> <p>Research has shown that if you have a stroke you could survive with more brain cells intact, if black grapes are a regular part of your diet. </p> <p>When planting grapes, the vine needs to be supported on a pergola, trellis or along a post and wire frame.</p> <p><strong>POSITION</strong> in a sunny spot. Grapes will tolerate a wide range of climatic conditions but prefer climates with cold winters and hot, dry summers.</p> <p><strong>SOIL</strong> needs to be well drained, and dig in organic matter like compost or manure before planting. </p> <p><strong>WATER</strong> newly planted vines regularly. </p> <p>Grapevines are deep rooted, so once established, they will look after themselves. In very dry areas, extra water may be needed during the summer months. </p> <p><strong>FEED</strong> vines in sandy soils with a complete plant food in spring. They don’t need much fertiliser, as the best wine grapes actually grow in poor soils. In rich soils, if growth is vigorous and fruit is produced, don’t feed grapevines. </p> <p><strong>MULCH </strong>with lucerne hay or straw, as they dislike competition from weeds.  </p> <p><strong>PRUNE </strong>back to the main branches in winter, leaving two bud stubs at regular intervals to produce next year’s crop.</p> <p><strong>Strawberries </strong></p> <p>Long known to be healthy, European researchers have found that eating strawberries can reduce harm caused by alcohol to the stomach membrane. So now there’s a scientific reason to have strawberries with champagne!</p> <p>Plant strawberries in rows in the garden, in pots or hanging baskets, or use as a groundcover in flowerbeds.   </p> <p><strong>POSITION</strong> strawberries in a sunny spot. </p> <p><strong>SOIL </strong>must be well drained with manure, well-rotted compost or blood and bone added before planting out. </p> <p>In pots, use an organic potting mix with a controlled-release fertiliser such as Miracle Gro Organic Choice Vegetable &amp; Herb MIx. </p> <p><strong>WATER </strong>strawberry plants regularly, especially when the fruit is ripening. </p> <p><strong>FEED </strong>when the fruit starts forming with Yates Dynamic Lifter Plus Fruit Food. </p> <p><strong>MULCH</strong> with straw or sugar cane so the fruit doesn’t touch the ground. This will prevent rot, keep the fruit clean, retain moisture in the soil and prevent weeds.</p> <p><em>Written by Cheryl Maddocks. Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/growing-berries-and-grapes"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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5 subtle ways your house might be making you sick

<p>You probably know lead and asbestos are dangerous substances that can turn up in homes, but you might not know that other chemicals inside our houses, both natural and man-made, can make you sick. These substances can foul your air, water, food, and even the products you use to clean. Some symptoms of sick building syndrome can include irritated eyes, nose, throat, or skin, breathing trouble, fatigue, and confusion; building-related illness may include long-term problems like asthma and allergies. And then there are the chemicals that disrupt hormones or jumpstart cancer. Here are some things you can do that to make your house healthier and reduce your risks.</p> <p><strong>1. You have toxic dust</strong></p> <p>The dust in hard-to-reach corners or settled atop your furniture can do more than cause a sneezing fit, it can actually be toxic. Researchers from George Washington University analysed dust samples data from across the United States and found 45 potentially toxic chemicals hiding within, ten of which turned up in 90 per cent of the samples. One repeat offender was TDCIPP, a flame retardant frequently found in furniture and other household items that is thought to cause cancer; phthalates, often found in toys and vinyl flooring, as well as phenols, typically used in cleaning products, were also found in high amounts. Minimise dust by vacuuming frequently (use the proper attachments to reach into corners and under furniture) and regularly wiping down surfaces.</p> <p><strong>2. You’re addicted to air fresheners</strong></p> <p>If you’re obsessed with keeping your house smelling fresh, you could be affecting your health. Scented candles, oil diffusers, plugin fresheners, and scented sprays may contain phthalates, chemicals that may disrupt the endocrine system by interfering with hormones. “Phthalates can act as a synthetic hormone inside the body. When we have synthetic chemicals that interfere with natural processes, we start worrying about health issues,” says Lara Adler, an environmental toxins expert and certified holistic health coach. Safely freshen your home by using natural essential oils, buying flowers, or simply opening the windows.</p> <p><strong>3. Your kitchen is filled with plastic</strong></p> <p>Plastic storage containers often contain harmful chemicals like BPA, which can leach into your food when reheating or even by filling them when leftovers are still hot. Polycarbonate plastic items (hard and marketed as shatter-resistant) like reusable water bottles, drinking cups, or beverage jugs also often contain BPA, which may interfere with the body’s hormones and potentially raise the risk of developing cancer and diabetes. And don’t let “BPA-free” on the packaging fool you. “Many manufacturers simply replaced BPA with another similar chemical in the same family, which may be just as bad,” says Adler. Avoid plastic whenever possible, says Adler, and opt for glass storage containers or stainless steel water bottles.</p> <p><strong>4. You spray down your shower with bleach</strong></p> <p>Bleach will leave your bathroom tiles sparkling clean, but if mould is an issue, bleach could actually make it worse. “Bleach gets rid of mould in tile grout, but it’s very caustic and grout is permeable, so it actually eats away at grout over time and makes tiny holes for more mould to grow,” says Adler. Try using a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water to combat mould spores, be sure your bathroom has proper ventilation to cut back on the humidity mould thrives in and use a squeegee to wipe down the shower walls to get rid of excess water after bathing.</p> <p><strong>5. You have wall-to-wall carpeting</strong></p> <p>Wall-to-wall carpeting can be a big problem if you don’t take care of it. “It becomes a sink for all kinds of contaminants,” says Adler. Dust and pet dander can settle into the cushioning and cause allergic reactions. And if you don’t remove your shoes before walking through the house, you can track contaminants from the outdoors all over your carpet, like dirt, pesticides, heavy metals, you name it. “Then your kids or pets crawl on the floor and get it all over themselves,” she says. Regularly vacuum and wash carpets and rugs.</p> <p><em>Written by Alyssa Jung and Tina Donvito. This article first appeared in </em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/home-tips/23-subtle-ways-your-house-might-be-making-you-sick"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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No scrubbing necessary! Genius way to remove stains from stainless steel pots

<p>Unfortunately, dirty pans and pots with impossible to remove stains are sentiments we know all too well in the kitchen.</p> <p>After a few uses or even after one bad mix up in the kitchen, our stainless steel appliances can become scorched and stained, and require a muscle workout to get them looking sparkling clean and brand new again.</p> <p>However, there is a solution that has become extremely popular on social media that has proven to work wonders – and the best part is the cleaning trick requires no elbow grease and zero scrubbing!</p> <p>To get a pot or pan back to its glorious original condition, all you need is a dishwashing tablet, a little time and boiling hot water.</p> <p>By placing a dishwashing tablet in your dirty pot with boiling hot water, the dirt, grime and hard-to-remove stains will lift and instead be replaced with a sparkling, unscratched surface.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7826196/dirty.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/666454068f4e41649065b66095be0cab" /></p> <p>Dishwashing tablets have proven to be a magic trick in the kitchen – and not just for the dishes.</p> <p>Not only are they reported to do wonders on your stainless steel kitchen appliances, cleaning whizzes say they're also able to transform a dirty oven door and also your clothes as a replacement for laundry detergent.</p> <p>Will you be using this simple trick in your kitchen anytime soon? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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