Bone meal

The Debate over Organic vs. Chemical Fertilizers

Ask most any gardener whether they prefer organic or chemical fertilizer, and chances are you’ll spark a lively debate. Even though both contain needed nutrients, there are significant differences between them in terms of the long-term effects on soil, plants, and the environment. Read on to find out why.

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Danny Lipford hammering nail.

Celebrating 30 Years in Home Improvement

Thirty years ago today—August 28, 1978—when I was just 21 years old, I started Lipford Remodeling, later renamed Lipford Construction, Inc. I still remember my very first job and most of the 3,000 or so projects we’ve worked on since then. There are very few construction companies that remain in business this long, so I consider our anniversary quite an achievement. I’m very proud of all the projects we’ve completed over the years, and all the homeowners we’ve made happy, as well as the sterling reputation we have achieved in Mobile, Alabama, and across the country.

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Using a shovel to prune roots around shrub.

Root Pruning for Increased Blooms

Ben asks, “I’ve heard that cutting through the roots around the drip line of a tree or shrub with a shovel can encourage it to flower. Is that true?”

While considered a rather extreme measure, pruning the roots of a tree or shrub can sometimes shock it into blooming. Learn when you should and shouldn’t attempt it on your plants.

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Pressure relief valve on hot water heater.

How to Repair a Leaking Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve

Leighton asks, “I just drained my hot water heater, and now the pressure relief valve is leaking. Is this something I can replace on my own, or should I call a plumber?”

Pressure relief valves sometime develop a drip when opened for the first time in years. If the drip doesn’t stop on its own in a day or two, here are the basic steps involved.

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Tractor scraping dirt.

Human vs. Nature

A few months ago, I had my yard re-graded due to some drainage issues. I filled in a drainage ditch and fixed it up with rocks, raised my front yard about a foot, sloped the earth away from the house, put in French drains – you name it, I obsessed over it. It was perfect.

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Satellite image of hurricane.

Top 10 Hurricane Myths Debunked

Even with the amount of attention hurricanes have received in recent years, there are still a number of misconceptions surrounding them. Here are the top 10 myths and the truth behind them.

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Flowers blooming

Fertilizer 101

Simply put, fertilizers are like vitamin supplements for plants. When used properly, they can treat plant “malnutrition” and promote rapid growth and blooming. When used improperly, however, they can be harmful to both plants and the environment, so it’s helpful to understand the basics of fertilizer makeup and application in order to choose wisely.

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Flower bed with mulch.

Rental House Flower Bed Solutions

Mike asks, “I just moved into a rental house and the flower beds are pretty bad. I need a cheap solution which preferably does not involved plants or flowers, as I don’t want to have to maintain them, to make the front of my house presentable. Any ideas?”

The easiest way to make your flower beds look nice and neat, without even needing plants, is by adding mulch.

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