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Many homeowners have a lawnmower, but few know how to use it and often end up causing more damage to the grass by making simple mistakes! Read our lawn mowing tips to make sure that you cut the lawn perfectly, every time!

Lawn Mowing Tips and Tricks

thehandymano mano lawn mowing tips feature cover photo

Don’t set your mower too low!

Many don’t realise that you only need to cut the top third of the glass blades at any time, this sounds like a waste of time as you’ll have to cut it again sooner, but, longer grass blades develop a deeper root system which mean that it is easier for the roots to find water. If you cut the grass too low, you risk ‘scalping’ the lawn, which means that the roots will focus on growing upwards rather than downwards and growing longer roots. It also means that you’re more likely to get weeds, as taller grass blades shade the soil and prevent weed seeds from sprouting.

Choose your time wisely!

Many people mow their lawn on a hot afternoon, but, this can cause a lot of damage to both the lawn and the mower! We recommend mowing in early evening when the lawn is dry, as this allows enough time for the lawn to recover before the afternoon heat the following day. The lawn has to be dry otherwise you’ll risk getting an uneven trim and any wet clippings can clog your mower and, if not raked up, can end up thrown out onto your grass and result in patchy, brown spots!

Stay sharp!

For the cleanest cut every time you mow you lawn, make sure that you keep an eye on your blades and sharpen or replace them as necessary. Dull blades can do more harm than good by tearing up the grass and causing their edges to brown,leaving you with an unhappy lawn! You can find many tutorials online about how to sharpen mower blades or you can head to your local hardware store or a sharpening service.

How often?

Many people choose to mow their lawns based on a routine, ie every weekend. However, this can cause problems for your lawn, and one of our most important lawn mowing tips is to mow it as of when it seems like it needs cutting. Make sure to cut it less frequently in early spring as the grass takes longer to grow at this time of year. In late spring and summer, you may need to mow it more often (such as every week) which is possible as long as you’re never cutting off more than a third of the grass blades. In summer, we recommend leaving the grass clippings on the lawn as they can help retain moisture and add in more nutrients!

Take your time

If you mow the lawn too fast then you’re likely to miss parts of the lawn and create more work for yourself in the long run. If you rush your job, then you’re more likely to have an uneven cut and leave behind poorly mulched clippings, even if it’s dry grass!

Got green fingers for more advice? Try our other articles: 

Types of Shrubs – Seasonal Guide

Top Nine Low Maintenance Flowers

Just imagine how amazing it would be to have your shoes all organised! Our instructions on how to make your own DIY shoe storage for your wardrobe will show you how to create more space, for cheap!

thehandymano mano mano DIY Shoe Storage for your wardrobe cover

Tools and materials

thehandymano mano mano DIY Shoe Storage for your wardrobe materials

Cost, time and difficulty

The approximate cost of materials to make your DIY shoe storage is around £60. Take a look at our ManoMano shopping basket, to see some of the basic tools you’ll need.

Although this isn’t a very complicated project, it might not be suitable for a first DIY task, as its difficulty rating is medium. You’ll need approximately 7 hours to cut and assemble the various parts, although this time will vary depending on your experience and skill as a DIYer!

How to build your DIY Shoe Storage for your wardrobe

This shoe storage is made up of one MDF section divided into shelves, within a melamine outer structure. Both parts are connected with telescopic slides screwed into the bottom. This allows the organiser to easily slide out. The steps followed to make this unit were as below

Step 1- Cut the MDF and melamine panels

First, you’ll have to cut the parts that make the shoe organiser. To do so, make sure you use the circular saw to make sure that you get perfectly straight lines. Also, using a saw guide will help with your precision and make sure that each piece is cut perfectly.

thehandymano mano mano DIY Shoe Storage for your wardrobe saw

One of the main advantages of making your own shoe storage is that you can adapt it to fit your own wardrobe. In this case, we had a space that measured 54cm deep and almost 1m wide. Thus, the MDF parts required to make the storage were:

• 1 part measuring 62 × 62cm for the back
• 2 parts measuring 62 × 52cm for the base and central divider
• 6 parts measuring 52 × 30cm for shelves (3 for each side)
For the melamine outer frame you will need:
• 2 parts measuring 67 × 52cm for the top and bottom
• 2 parts measuring 65 × 52cm for the sides
thehandymano mano mano DIY Shoe Storage for your wardrobe measurements

Step 2- Assemble the interior storage

Next, assemble the MDF interior using the pocket hole jig to conceal the joinery.

To recap, the steps to are:

  1. Clamp the jig onto the piece of wood
  2. Drill a hole using the step drill
  3. Screw to connect the parts

Meanwhile, to assemble the pieces follow this order:

  1. Screw the divider to the base
  2. Next, attach each of the shelves on either side of the divider
  3. Lastly, screw on the back

thehandymano mano mano DIY Shoe Storage for your wardrobe assemble

To support the parts and make the work easier, it’s a good idea to used angled clamps. You should also assemble the shelves in a way that the holes are hidden on the interior

thehandymano mano mano DIY Shoe Storage for your wardrobe wood assemble

Step 3- Assemble the outer frame

Next, you’ll have to assemble the outer frame. To do so, drill holes at the top and bottom of the side parts. Then, screw these to the top and bottom parts to form a cube.

thehandymano mano mano DIY Shoe Storage for your wardrobe drill

Step 4- Attach the telescopic slides

Lastly, attach a set of telescopic slides to the inner and outer parts of the storage unit. This will allow you to slide out the interior section, making storing and choosing your shoes simple.

When you attach the slides, you have to first screw them to the bottom of the MDF storage unit. Then, attach them to the bottom of the melamine structure.

thehandymano mano mano DIY Shoe Storage for your wardrobe sliders

Once you have completed each of these steps, this will be the final result of your DIY shoe storage for your wardrobe. In the picture, you can see the unit both inside and outside of the wardrobe.

thehandymano mano mano DIY Shoe Storage for your wardrobe finished

All that’s left to do is to fill it up with all of your shoes! 🙂

thehandymano mano mano DIY Shoe Storage for your wardrobe finished boxes

thehandymano mano mano DIY Shoe Storage for your wardrobe finished boxes

This article was written by: Bricoydeco and translated. Mari Luz authors the blog ‘Bricoydeco’, she is a DIY fanatic, lover of recycling and customising furniture. Her passion is giving a second chance to turn once forgotten things into unique pieces!

Don’t put your tools away just yet! Why not give these projects a go?

How to Make a DIY Pallet Trolley

How To Make Your Own Pallet Coffee Table

Assistant UK Brand Manager – Internship/stage in Paris

ManoMano is the first marketplace specialised in DIY, home and gardening, launched by two passionate DIYers. Winner of Startup of the Year at the IMC Awards 2014 and shortlisted for Retail Week Awards 2018 as Emerging Retailer in the UK. Member of Google Scale Up, the programme by Google for the 10 most innovative startups in France.

Launched in 2013 in France, today we are present in 6 countries: France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, UK and Germany.

ManoMano has gone from a small bootstrapping team to over 160 people from 10 different nationalities, all motivated and united by a clear and ambitious goal: to make home improvement and gardening projects easy and affordable for all, while getting a little handy themselves. 

If you want to work for a startup in a fast-paced environment, with a young, friendly, and dynamic team, as well as having a real impact on growth… then this is the adventure for you.

We are looking for new top talents to join our team in the heart of Paris, including a creative, passionate intern who will help ManoMano build up its brand awareness in the UK.

Job Description

We’re looking for a marketing communications intern to work closely with the Brand Manager UK to develop brand awareness and exposure in the UK using various channels: our website and blog, events, partnerships, public & press relations, media, social networks…

This internship will give you hands on, practical skills in all areas of online communications and will develop your analytical and strategic capacities. No time for being the “photocopy kid”, you will play a central role in the European Communications team.

What You’ll Do:

Under direct supervision of the Brand Manager UK, you will:

  • help create and manage editorial calendars across all communication platforms
  • be in charge of the company blog
  • give a hand finding top, news-worthy PR stories
  • create and curate content across our social media accounts and analyse the results
  • help implement various marketing communications campaigns both online and offline
  • monitor the latest trends and benchmark competitors
  • help with translations where necessary (French to English)

Who You Are:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Motivated with the ability to work independently and effectively manage workload
  • Curious and yearning for hands-on experience in marketing, communications and community management
  • Creative and brimming with innovative ideas – the crazier the better!
  • Desire to work in a fast-paced, startup environment where innovation and versatility is key.
  • A good digital and social media culture
  • A keen eye for DIY, home improvement or gardening is a bonus
  • Native-level/fluency in English is mandatory
  • Knowledge of relevant English industry, habits and culture
  • Good knowledge of French (written and spoken) is a must

What ManoMano has to offer:

  • A fast-growing environment on the FrenchTech startup scene
  • Autonomy with a very broad scope
  • An international team
  • A pleasant setting in Paris (subway station Pereire) in more than 3,000 m² / 32,000 sq ft of brand new offices with a gym and a terrace
  • 50% of your commuting costs covered
  • France’s mythical restaurant tickets
  • A great atmosphere (average age of 28)
  • A games room with table football, ping pong and video games
  • A relaxation room
  • A do-it-yourself workshop
  • and many more surprises in store with our Chief Happiness Officer…

Important Information

This is a paid, full-time internship for 6 months starting in March 2018 and will be based in Paris (West, 15 minutes from Arc de Triomphe).

If you’re ready to join our adventure, please send your CV and cover letter to: christina@manomano.co.uk

Summer is sweeping so rapidly onward that its already time for the essential garden jobs for July! There’s always so much to do in the garden, but don’t forget to take a minute to sit back and enjoy all of your hard work. Before you do that though, have a think about your autumn crop of vegetables! Read on for our essential garden jobs for July.

Flower Garden Jobs

essential garden jobs for july the handy mano manomano deadheading dahlias
image source: www.gardenersworld.com
  1. Make sure that you can enjoy your riotous floral display for as long as possible by deadheading this month. Both perennials and bedding plants can be deadheaded, which will encourage them to continue flowering and prevent self-seeding. Deadheading is an enjoyable job that simply involves removing old flower heads with a sharp pair of secateurs. Sweet peas are particularly rewarding to deadhead and can flower for months if you are lucky with the weather and rigorous with your secateurs.
  2. This is the month when all of the weeds that slipped between the prongs of your fork start to seed. Take some time to scour your garden for unwanted seed heads and remove them before they can spread. Preventing weeds from spreading now will save you hours of work next year.
  3. If you have any tender plants in your garden this is a great month to take cuttings to be overwintered indoors. Tender plants like jasmine and agapanthus may not survive the frosts, but you don’t have to say goodbye quite yet. Simply take a few cuttings and keep them warm in the greenhouse or indoors over winter. Come spring they should then be ready to replace their progenitor in the garden!
  4. Keep an eye on your roses during the summer, not only will they need feeding but be on the look out for suckers. Grafted roses produce suckers that originate from the rootstock below ground. If suckers are allowed to grow they can start to draw nutrients away from the rose bush above ground, so it is best to remove them. Suckers generally look completely different from the rest of the rose bush and grow in a wild, untrained way. Prune the sucker as close as possible to the rootstock and seal the cut with Tree Wound Sealer or glue to prevent it growing back.

Vegetable Patch Jobs

essential garden jobs for july the handy mano manomano picking tomatoes
image source: www.harvesttotable.com
  1. If you haven’t taken the time yet, stop for a minute and net your fruits. Both trees and bushes will benefit from being netted and you will benefit by enjoying all of the fruits of your labour.
  2. To give yourself fresh, garden produce for as long as possible use this month to sow your autumnal crops. Everything from broccoli to tomatoes can be planted during July. Just check the instructions that come with your plants to find the perfect window for planting.
  3. Before you get too stuck into your planning, there are lots of delicious vegetables that will be ready for harvest this month. There are lots of veggies ripening now, so keep checking everything from your beetroots to tomatoes.
  4. While you’re enjoying your fresh vegetables don’t forget to rewards the plants with a good general purpose fertiliser. Before you fertilise it’s worth clearing away any dead or diseased foliage from around your plants. Doing so will help to keep your plants healthy and prevent disease spreading.

Greenhouse Jobs

essential garden jobs for july the handy mano manomano planting cuttings
image source: www.thesurvivalpodcast.com
  1. Keep temperatures down in your greenhouse during these hot days by damping it down. Damping down will also help to increase the humidity and prevent plants drying out too quickly.
  2. Any cuttings you have taken will be in need of a little love. Make sure the compost remains moist until the cuttings are well rooted and keep them out of direct sun to avoid scorching the leaves.
  3. If you have continued to plant seeds, don’t forget to keep pricking them out before they get too big. Pricking out seedlings gives them enough additional space to grow into and saves you from detangling roots later on. When you’re pricking out your seedlings be careful to avoid touching the stems, instead hold onto the leaves.
  4. Keep your greenhouse clean and tidy ready for when you’ll be spending more time here. While you’re tidying don’t forget to be on the look for any diseases or pests that may need to be dealt with. Putting up sticky traps is also a good trick for monitoring the levels of flying nasties.

If you have found these garden jobs for July useful, you might also enjoy The Essential Garden Jobs For June and The Essential Garden Jobs For May.

It’s almost March, Valentine’s Day is behind us and Pancake Day is approaching fast. But in between all of these exciting holidays; February is a good month to begin preparing the house for summer. Winter can be tough on houses, with harsh weather outside and lots of use on the inside. Make the most of spring to tackle the household maintenance that so often becomes overlooked. Here’s our list of the essential household jobs for February.

Clean Electricals

Clean your refrigerator coils and the vent on your dryer to reduce the chance of electrical hazards and improve the efficiency of your appliances. To clean refrigerator coils, first turn off and unplug the fridge. Locate the coils, these are generally found at the rear in older models and located at the bottom in newer models.  Use a vacuum with a narrow plastic nozzle or brush attachment to carefully hoover up the visible dirt and dust. Use a brush and rag to wipe away any other more stubborn dirt. Finally reconnect your fridge and place it back. To clean a dryer, again completely disconnect it from any power source. Remove the vent at the back and use a hoover to suck up any accumulated lint and dust from both the dyer and tubing. Reattach the tubing, replace your dryer and you’re done!

Essential Household Jobs February refrigerator coils clean Handy Mano ManoMano Mano Mano Handymano

Empty the Garage

If you have a garage, it has probably accumulated a significant amount of clutter over the last year or so since you last cleaned it. Take a day to get everyone together and empty it out, ready for the year ahead. Once you’ve got everything out, organise objects into four piles: items for putting back, putting elsewhere, donating and throwing. If you have a lot of items to donate, you could also take them to a car boot sale. When you replace objects, consider which are used most frequently, things like mowers and brooms, and ensure that they are easily accessible for the future. For other objects consider one of the many space-saving storage systems currently available to buy.

Windows

Take this time to give your windows a wash both inside and out. One handy trick to get a real sparkle to your windows is to dry them off using newspaper! While washing the windows, this is a great time to clean the general window area. Hoover dust off curtains and blinds, or send them to the cleaners to remove more stubborn dirt. Check the area around your windows to ensure that there aren’t any gaps or cracks, if you find some fill them with a sealantEssential Household Jobs Februarywindow cleaning Handy Mano ManoMano Mano Mano Handymano

Drain Heaters

Sediment will naturally accumulate in your hot water tank. It’s important to drain heaters regularly as sediment build up can decrease the efficiency of your water heater, or in serious cases even cause a blockage and reduce the unit’s capacity. Be careful when draining heaters as water will be hot. To begin, switch off the gas or electricity. Then turn off the water supply and turn on a hot water tap, leave this running throughout to prevent a vacuum forming in the pipes. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve and place the end into a bucket. Open the drain valve and then the pressure relief valve. Allow all the water to drain and then flush the tank by opening the cold water valve for a few minutes. Once flushed, close both valves and allow the tank to fill up. Now just switch your heater back on!

Check Gutters

Clean out the debris blocking your gutters to ensure that water doesn’t get trapped. While cleaning, check your gutters for holes and make sure that downspouts are properly attached. To ensure that you are safe while cleaning gutters, use a stable ladder and wear protective gloves at all times. Scoop out debris with a small trowel or a special gutter scoop, save yourself time later by placing everything you extract into a bucket. Once cleared of big pieces, flush the gutters using a hose. If your drainpipes are blocked, flush them with the hose, or failing that use a plumbers snake to remove the blockage.

Essential Household Jobs February clean gutter Handy Mano ManoMano Mano Mano Handymano

For more advice on jobs around the home have a look at 11 Tricks to Clean the Uncleanable and How To Look After Your Boiler This Winter.