Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Lawn Care Tips


By Reena Nerbas


Hi Reena,
My cookies never turn out. I follow the recipe as written but they either brown too fast or they look green and grey. What am I doing wrong? Marne

Dear Marne,

Experiment by cutting down on the amount of baking soda in your cookie recipes. Baking soda will brown cookies significantly. As well, baking soda can cause eggs in recipes to turn greeny/grey. Bake at a lower temperature and make sure that you are baking on the middle rack of your oven.

Curled Corners of Rug

Dear Reena,

We have an 8’x10′ synthetic rug made in Turkey, which sits on top of a 14’x10′ fixed wall to wall rug in our three season’s sunroom. The area rug has developed a series of raised humps on one corner, which we are unable to straighten out. My question is, if we remove the wall to wall rug, and install laminate flooring, and then use a piece of underlay under the area rug, would we be able to get the rug to flatten out? Any other ideas would be welcome. Thanks. Ruth

Dear Ruth,

Before ripping out your carpet, consider purchasing a product available on-line through websites such as Amazon. The product name is Curl Stop and it is designed to hold onto rugs and stop corners of area rugs from curling up thereby sitting flat. As well there are several other rug grip products designed to lay under area rugs and hold them flat and in place on both carpet and smooth floors such as laminate. You may want to experiment with steaming the area rug to flatten it, but this is typically a temporary fix. Carpet tape is also a temporary option.

Algae in Rain Barrel

Dear Reena,

Read your column faithfully but I don’t know if I have ever seen this problem. We collect rain water in big barrels for our garden. We have a problem with green algae growing in the barrel and coating the sides. Could we put chlorine bleach in these barrels to prevent the growth? Would this harm my vegetables? Trying to grow veggies as organically as possible. Any suggestions? Thank you. Gail

Dear Gail,

The controversy that goes along with how to prevent algae from forming in barrels is as heated as; margarine vs. butter or homework vs. no homework. While some prefer to add one quarter cup bleach to barrels, others opt to empty the barrel and scrub it with bleach or vinegar and water whenever algae are present. Another popular solution is to add goldfish, minnows or sucker fish into the barrel, constant movement in the barrel helps prevent algae from forming. However people argue that unless you feed the fish, they are not getting enough food to sustain themselves. If possible keep your barrel out of direct sunlight and as clean as possible. Grass clippings, and animal waste entering the water pollutes it and triggers bacteria life which in turn promotes algae matter. If you add 1 tbsp. of bleach to water every few weeks, this will not hurt your plants because it is very diluted in the same way that chlorine added to city water doesn’t kill houseplants.

Finding Ends of Clear Tape

Dear Reena,

How can I easily mark clear tape so that I am not wasting time searching for the beginning of the roll and trying to peel it up with my chewed up fingernails? Sadie

Dear Sadie,

Secure a toothpick at the end of the tape.

Wet Tips for the Yard

Water your yard early in the morning, on calm days before nine o’clock. This reduces evaporation and scorched leaves.
Direct the down spout of you eaves trough into a rain barrel. Collect the water to use for watering the yard. Keep the barrel covered with either an insect screen or pour a drop of oil into the barrel. Doing this changes the surface tension of the water making it difficult for mosquitoes to lay eggs. Warning: Buckets and barrels of water should never be present where small children have access to them.
Aerate the lawn every two-three years by poking little holes into dirt to loosen the soil and improve moisture penetration. So before you golf, strap on those golf cleats and run around your yard for a while.
Life just got easier!

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

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