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You finally get home after a few well-deserved days off and rush to check how your plants are doing. Have any of them dried out? Has the home watering system not worked as you expected? Wait, before you throw them away, Ester Casanovas, gardening expert at ManoMano, has compiled some top tips on how to revive your plants that might have suffered during your holidays.

How to revive your plants step-by-step

Before we get down to work, check what went wrong: did you use a home method to keep your plants moist or did the person who was supposed to water them not do it properly? Make a mental note so that you can solve these problems on your next trip. Remember that you can always automate the watering of your pots with a drip irrigation system or solutions for less prolonged absences.

1. Cut off all dried leaves and flowers

Help revive your plants by cutting off dried leaves and flowers
Help revive your plants by cutting off dried leaves and flowers

What has dried out is dead and will not recover. The plant will thank you for it, as it will avoid sending nutrients to those unsalvageable parts during the hydration process. 

Use sharp pruning shears and clean them with alcohol between plants. If they have fallen ill during your absence, you will avoid possible contagion.

2. Check plants for pests

A weakened plant is often an easy target for different types of pests. Check the tops and undersides of leaves and stems, and use the most appropriate insecticide for the problem detected. If possible, remove the topsoil and throw it away: this will eliminate the possibility of some insect eggs hatching and will speed up subsequent hydration.

3. Water your plants

A dehydrated plant requires careful watering, and we often make the mistake of putting it in a bucket for hours until it is waterlogged. It is true, a bucket will help, but so will a little patience and the knowledge that just because it is submerged for a long time, it will not recover quickly.

If your dry plant is planted in the ground, use a rake to create furrows in the soil: this will make it easier for the watering to penetrate deeply. If you have only recently repotted it, you can try removing it and the root ball: dip it in a bucket and wait until air bubbles no longer appear on the surface. 

Use lukewarm water to rehydrate the plants: most substrates absorb it better than cold water, and in this way, in addition to the plant, the dry soil will also be rehydrated, regaining its permeability.

If the plant is in a pot, proceed in the same way, but remove the plant from the pot.

4. Spray the leaves

Spray the leaves to gently rehydrate the plant
Spray the leaves to gently rehydrate the plant

Spray the leaves of the plant with a spray bottle, and take the opportunity to clean them if they are dusty. If so, then spray again and let it dry on its own. 

If its size allows, you can also put it in the bath or shower, spraying it generously.

5. Observe for a few days

Observe your plant
Observe your plant

Keep the soil moist for the next few days and watch closely for small changes. If the limp leaves stand upright again and the stems remain firm, it is very likely that the recovery process has been successful. 

A change of location can also help, especially if it is an outdoor plant that was in full sun: it will recover much more easily if it is in shade or semi-shade for a few days.

The leaves of plants can dry out due to both over- and under-watering.

Finally, we would like to add a note that may be useful in some cases: over-watering can cause similar symptoms to under-watering. The leaves of the plants also become limp and may turn yellow, which can lead to confusion. In this case, you will need to check the humidity of the soil and proceed in the same way but suspend any watering.

Observe your plant and its soil
Indoor plant revival

Remove the plant from the pot or soil with as much soil as possible in the root ball. Use kitchen paper to absorb as much moisture as possible and let it air dry for a whole day. 

Put the plant back in place and wait for the soil to dry out before watering again.

Did you enjoy this article on how to revive your plants after the summer holidays? Why not read our tips on how to care for your Monstera plant or even our house plant buying guide!

Are you going to try reviving your plants after your holidays? Share your results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

Make use of these 7 simple tips and tricks to help you achieve cleaner, straighter and safer cuts on plywood using a table saw. The cut quality depends on a number of techniques that you will find out in this article. Honing them is the first step to becoming a successful user of plywood for your DIY projects.

Plywood has established itself as the best sheet good for home improvement. But to unlock its potential, you must know how to cut it properly. The layered structure of the sheet makes them prone to tear-outs; something you’d not want for your new woodworking project. This can result in little-ragged splinters in the wood fibers and thus revealing the ply underneath.

There are many ways to cut plywood. However, many woodworkers, carpenters, and DIYers agree that the table saw is the best. With the right technique and some DIY skills, this type of saw can produce cleaner, safer and straighter cuts. This article will teach you how to use a table saw to cut plywood safely and successfully.

Tip 1: Choose the Right Blade

While this may be surprising to some people, the saw blade that comes with your table saw will just not give you the quality of cuts you desire. Such blades are often designed for rough cuts common with construction-grade soft lumber. You will need to upgrade if you must use your table saw for sheet goods.

Experienced carpenters and woodworkers recommend you upgrade to something like 80 TPI plywood blade that is designed to work with rip cuts. A great blade can prove useless if you do not have the right technique to use it.

To do this, ensure you orient your plywood so that the blade exits the sheet on the excellent surface. Thus, you should have the excellent surface of the wood facing up.

Tip 2: Make Use Of Zero-Clearance Feature  

To make precise cuts, you have no option but to go for a zero-clearance insert. The insert will close the gap around the saw blade in the shoe or throat plate. So for your table saw, you can purchase a sellout insert.

Alternatively, you can make an insert on your own if you have an idea what it should be like. There is quality information online to teach yourself how to make a zero-clearance insert on for your table saw. It is essential that you go for zero clearance for your saw to make high-quality cuts on plywood.

Tip 3: Seek or Improvise Some Support

The standard dimensions of plywood sheets are 4 inches by 8 inches. The size of these sheets makes them challenging to wield with any tool. Such large size makes it almost impossible to lay the sheet flat on the table and at the same time hold it tight against the fence.

This will force you to seek help from a friend or family if you must make clean, safe and straight cuts. If no one is available, you can hold the sheet flat using a roller stand or a sawhorse. This will allow you to focus more on what you are doing. You can conveniently push the wood or saw at a consistent feed rate. Only this way will you get cleaner and straighter cuts.

Tip 4: Prevent Kickbacks by Raising the Blade Height

One common and dangerous problem with power tools is a kickback.  This term describes the sudden and unintended movement of the device or your workpiece. It can be hazardous to you and others in the vicinity of your work area. The cause of kickbacks is the pinching or binding of the workpiece.

To prevent kickbacks while using a table saw to cut plywood, set the blade to come off the wood at the gullets.  Gullet is a term used to describe valleys between the teeth of the blade. Raising the blade serves to change the direction with which the blade’s teeth enter the sheet. This will cause the saw to shift to an almost vertical cut from the usual angled cut.

However, you will need to provide for that change by being much more careful with your cuts. A feather board and slowed feed rate can help you achieve this. This maneuver is dangerous. The recommendation is that you do not do it unless you are an experienced DIYer. Remember not to raise the blade more than an inch above the gullets and support the plywood on each side of the blade.

Tip 5: Use a Low-Adhesion Masking Tape for Better Results

Your aim when cutting plywood with a table saw is to set up yourself for a successful outcome. That is why you need to come up with ingenious ways to improve your results. Surprisingly, something as mundane as a painter’s tape can do you miracles.

Add some low adhesion blue or other colored masking tapes to each surface on the cut line. The aim is to hold the wood fibers together while cutting the sheet good. Make sure you secure the tape tightly and firmly and only lightly peel off to reduce the chances of splintering.

Tip 6: Always Use a Sharp Blade

Earlier, we talked about changing the blade that comes with your table saw if you must cut plywood correctly. You must ensure the new blade you have installed is sharp at all times to produce clear and precise cuts devoid of any splintering.

The good news is that most brands ensure the blades they sell come razor sharp as a marketing surgery. This does not mean the blade’s teeth will not grow dull. You may need to learn how to sharpen a table saw’s blade so that you can do it when the situation calls for such an action.

Tip 7: Put Your Safety First

Power tools have a reputation for causing deadly and debilitating accidents. It would be great if you were to put safety first. When using a table saw to cut plywood, ensure you wear safety glasses, face shield or goggles at all times. Wear a dust mask if you suspect the cutting operation will be dusty. Avoid wearing gloves while operating a table saw. You are also to avoid long sleeves, dangling jewelry, ties as well as other loose-fitting clothing while running the saw. You footwear must also be non-slip.

Final Verdict

I hope the information you have learned has answered your question on how to use a table saw to cut plywood. If you employ these tips, the chances are that you will end up with a clean, straight and beautiful cut. But the quality of the cut should not be your only concern. In fact, safety should be your number one concern. Doing this requires a lot of keenness and accuracy both of which come with experience.

1. Hammer

The hammer is easily the most important of the tools that every homeowner should own. It unlocks the most basic of all tasks that you can do at home: hanging pictures on the wall. In order to do that correctly, you need to make sure that your nails are driven into the drywall or wood in a secure manner, and there’s no better tool for that than a hammer.

2. Screwdriver Set

If you’re going to attempt any kind of repair task, you’re probably going to need a screwdriver. Whether it’s replacing the batteries in a child’s toy or putting together store-bought furniture, a screwdriver is probably going to come in handy. Getting a set of eight to ten screwdrivers in a mix of the Philips and flathead variety will give you the screwdrivers you need for most common tasks.

3. Wrench Set

While most household items are held together with screws, most car parts use nuts and bolts instead. If you want to save money and do some simple car repair tasks at home, then you’ll need a good set of wrenches. Replacing your own battery or headlights can save you a lot of money versus getting it installed at a shop, and both tasks can be done in a half-hour or less if you have the right tools.

4. Socket Set and Ratchet

Sockets and ratchets are useful for when you need to tighten or loosen a nut or bolt but don’t have enough space to use a wrench. The good news is that there are a ton of great socket sets out there, and most aren’t terribly expensive. Just make sure you get the set that’s right for your country, as both Metric and Customary sets exist.

5.Tape Measure

Tape measures are an even more valuable tool given how much shopping is done online today. It can be hard to tell if a piece of furniture or other purchase will fit in your house by looking at pictures online, but a tape measure can let you know what you have space for. It’s also a necessary tool for any job where you’ll be building something yourself, as you can’t guesstimate cuts with good results.

6.Toolbox

Once you have all these tools, you’ll need a way to carry them around. You may not need a massive toolbox like the one your grandfather carried around, so you might check out the tons of lightweight but sturdy models on the market today. You can also invest in a toolbag, which is made from canvass and features pockets designed to protect and store different tools.

7. Duct Tape

Duct tape puts all other tapes to shame. It uses a woven backing which provides a lot of strength but remains easy to tear down to size, and the tape’s great grip makes it good for places where moisture or humidity would defeat other tapes. You may not know when you’ll need this product, but you’ll be happy you have it on hand when you do.

8. Utility Knife

Opening boxes with scissors is a cumbersome, and sometimes dangerous operation, and it can be hard to control the depth of the cut with blades that are that long. The utility knife features a short, but sharp blade which can make short work of a sealed package without threating its contents. It’s also useful for sharpening pencils and other cutting tasks, and since these tools tend to be cheap, it tends to be a very low-cost, high-value buy.

9.Handsaw

If you’re new to using tools or trying to build a collection, the handsaw is the first tool you should buy. It’s inexpensive relative to power saws, and it’s easy enough to use that it’s unlikely to be dangerous. You can perform just about any cut with a handsaw if you’re willing to put a little grit and elbow grease into the job. Keep in mind that saws with bigger teeth cut faster and those with smaller teeth are more precise.

10. Pliers

Like duct tape, pliers are one of those tools that don’t come in handy for long stretches of time, and then become invaluable for a few minutes. If you’re trying to tighten a nut, but the bolt keeps turning, a pair of pliers can make the job go far faster. If something small falls down in something else, then a pair of needle nose pliers will allow you to get it out. You can also use them to bend small objects back into shape.

11. Level

If you want to hang pictures that look great, you’re going to need a level. It’s very hard to hang pictures level on your first try with your unaided eye, but a level can make the job easy and prevent you from having to constantly get back up on your ladder to finish the job. Today, you can use an inexpensive bubble level, or invest in a high-tech laser level which allows you to level multiple objects at once.

12. Flashlight

Of course, every home needs a flashlight. It’s a tool that’s indispensable, but if you’re a new homeowner, you may be surprised at how many tasks that need doing take you into the darker nooks and crannies in your house. Whether you’re looking for a lost toy under a bed or working on the plumbing under your sink, you’ll be glad you have a flashlight.

 

This post was written by Adam Harris from HealthyHandyman.com. He loves to fish, play the guitar, and his all-time favorite thing to do is to work on his home improvement, DIY and woodworking projects that he publicly blogs about on his website. Feel free to reach out to him if you have any cool ideas for his content and work, but do know that he recently got himself a new 3D printer, so he may be a bit busy!

If you’re leaving your house unattended for a little while, there are lots of ways to make sure your space is secured and least of a target as possible for potential break ins. In this post, we’ve collected all the best tips and precautions for you on how to keep safe and street wise.

  1. Alarm system

Having an alarm system in your home is a great investment. Not only can you go away in peace knowing that any unknown movement will be picked up on, but it can also provide a lot of reassurance. There are many type of systems available for whatever you may need, some of them including CCTV, outdoor sensored lighting, alarms on as many doors of the house as you like and even remote controlling so that you are able to check up on it whilst you are away. Always expect the unexpected!

2. Look lived in

Simple tasks like mowing the lawn really do make a difference to making sure your home doesn’t look neglected and vulnerable to break ins. Additionally, setting timers for the radio and lights in your house whilst you are away is a great way of deterring potential suspicions. Set timers for the usual time of day that you’d use these: for example if you use a radio to wake you up in the morning keep it on during your time away, making sure it can turn itself off. The same thing goes for lights: install a timer switch to set the light in your hallway to turn itself on when it gets dark for a few hours and people will think that you are living in the house as normal!

3. Warning signs

In order to be extra safe, it’s also worth making sure that anyone who may be potentially thinking of breaking and entering knows that you have security measures in place. Even if you don’t have a real alarm set up in your house or are yet to get one done, we would suggest getting an alarm bell box on the outside of your home, real or fake. This is a clear signal that you have taken precautions to secure your home.

4. A safe

If you are worried about any high value possessions you may have, using a safe will keep your mind at rest, in the knowledge that they wouldn’t be accessible to anyone who tries to find them. To take extra precaution, be sure to hide the safe away not in an open space where it could be easily found, perhaps at the back of a wardrobe or in a loft.

5. Help from your neighbourhood

If you are aware that your neighbours are around during your time away, it may be worth asking them to keep an eye out or check up on your home for anything unusual. This could be in the form of collecting your post, parking their car in your driveway or even coming in every day to feed a pet or open and close your curtains. Alternatively, if this isn’t an option for you it’s worth having at look at your local neighbourhood watch scheme to see how you could get involved and receive community alert messages.

6. Durable doors

In the majority of break ins, criminals break into the house or flat through the door either by forcing the lock or kicking it in. With this in mind, it’s important to keep your doors strong and secure. Which material is your door made out of? If you feel like this is a possible risk for you, consider fitting in a bar for extra strength and precaution. For advice on how best to install it, speak to your local locksmith who should be able to guide you through it.

In addition, glass doors are vulnerable as they are easy to break and then give access to the locks. Switching to laminated glass will mean that your glass is much more durable. Adding film will also give it that extra layer and make it more difficult to break.

7. Deliveries

Whilst it’s easier to prevent making deliveries to your address for when you’re away, trivial deliveries like letters and milk can be easily forgotten about. Luckily enough, postage services like The Royal Mail have in place a ‘Keepsafe’ service. This allows the post that you’d be receiving to be kept aside by them for up to 2 months, should you need it. As for milk deliveries, be sure to let them know the period of time that you’re going away for and they will be able to put deliveries on hold for you.

8. Home exchange

If you prefer to have someone living in your house keeping an eye on it all the times there are plenty of sites available should you wish to do a home exchange. Similarly to AirBnB, they include ratings, feedback and recommendations of other users for your safety. There is trust on both sides of care for one anothers spaces and best of all, you can go away and stay in another person’s accomodation for free! Not too shabby.

We hope you found some useful tips and tricks about how to keep your home secure if you’re going away. Remember, it’s always good to double check everything is safe and secure before you leave and try not to be too vocal about it: not everyone has to know that the house could be empty! We’ve thought of everything so that you don’t have to, 😉 have a great trip!

 

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If you’re looking for a Christmas tree this season, look no further – we have you covered. Here are our top 10 unique christmas trees to get you feeling festive. These trees will leaf you seeing stars (at the tip of your tree), you’ll be bauble-ing on about them for the rest of December!

Tinsel tree

Prevent getting your tinsel in a twist with this bright and brilliant tree. If you decide to coordinate any other decorations along with this one your whole space will appear magical! Adding some extra shiny baubles or glittery wrapping paper for the presents underneath will completely light up your space for this sparkly time of year.

 

Super slim tree

A slim line tree is a perfect alternative should you have not much room in your place for a traditional tree. It can fit perfectly in tight spaces, so even if you’re paying loads for a London box flat or are mid in the moving process and there are boxes everywhere – you’re still tree to celebrate this Christmas season, there’s no excuse!

Pre lit tree

A pre-lit tree will save you the fuss of getting your own lights and putting them on yourself. No more worrying that they’re not wrapped around evenly or that you don’t have a range of colours. Jive to all your favourite festive tunes with this tree which technically doubles up as a disco ball all in one!

Half tree

Another space saver – the half tree. Give the illusion of a full one by placing it in a corner of the room. Less mess and the same amount of festive goodness from a full tree. Or, alternatively, if you like things in halves then this is the tree for you. To each their own!

Snowy Tree

Get into the seasonal spirit by finding yourself this frosty number. If there’s no snow on christmas day, it’s ok. There’s snow need to worry, you’ll still have a white Christmas no matter the weather.

Coloured tree

This 2ft treat will add the right pop of colour to any room. If you you have a blue colour coordinated space of your home then it will add a slight festive pop without causing too much of a fur-ss.

Silver tree

This glitzy tree is for lovers of all things silver and shiny. This stunning piece is sure to stand out in your home this Christmas and catch all your guests’ eyes. Get out all your silverware and tinsel for this one, it’s going to have some competition.

Fibre optic

Fibre optic trees? They are as cool as they sound, promise. This means that the tips of the branches light up and switch colours for a more delicate luminous effect. Although, as we are wanting to include some pretty crazy trees in this post, the bottom example tree provides you with ultimate fibre optic goodness – the brightest and most colourful tree around.

Upside down tree

Did you know that you can buy upside down trees? Maybe you’ve learnt something new today, maybe not. Either way, this tree is a super quirky alternative to your traditional right way up green alpine and is sure to bag a few comments. Why not!

Tropical tree

Who said Christmas trees needed to be alpine? If you would much rather be somewhere warmer on the 25th, this tree is your answer. As a plus, there’s less branches to cover meaning less fuss! Don’t go chasing the tropical sun, chase this tropical tree instead.

If any of these trees tickled your leaves, they are all available on our website ManoMano.co.uk, should you be intrigued by this weird and wonderful range. Merry Christmas!

 

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