Personal Tech

Tips For Choosing The Best Stubble Trimmer

A little stubble never hurt anyone, or has it? There are a good amount of men who can pull off that sexy stubble. Sometimes stubble and beard seems to go hand in hand but for the ladies we like to see are men with some well taken care of scruff, no “beard men” use a best Stubble Trimmer. We are seeing more and more actors and athletes with stubble but lets remind you men that well-groomed stubble and unkempt stubble are two different things.

You can have too little stubble, which is not attractive at all for example George Michael needs to take some lessons on growing stubble. I’m sure he is capable of it but more so than often we have saw him looking rather like he forgot to shave.

One star that always pulls off amazing stubble is David Beckham. I don’t think I have seen one picture where his stubble makes him look any less attractive.

Another winner of the most attractive stubble holder is Patrick Dempsey. He has rocked the stubble on far more occasions than I can count.

There are no more excuses for you men. You can buy a best Stubble Trimmer almost anywhere now a day’s. Price can’t be an issue since there are so many brands out there, you can be sure to find one for a decent price.

Tips For Choosing The Best Stubble Trimmer

  1. The first thing you should do is understand that regular electric shavers should be left on the shelf if you are trying to maintain a beard. These are far too wide to give you the intricate grooming you can expect from a beard trimmer. Even if the packaging on a traditional razor implies that it is great for using with beards, you should leave it on the shelf.
  2. Look for a beard trimmer that can be recharged. This means that there will be no pesky cords in the way while you are on your quest toward the perfect facial hair maintenance. This is also a great option since it will save you money on electric bills. There are many trimmers that use regular batteries, but the ones that can be recharged will give you a lot more bang for your buck.
  3. Beard trimmers often come with several attachments. Consider which ones are included with the ones you have in mind before you make your final purchase decision. It is best to choose a model that has an angled attachment because there are parts of the face that are difficult to reach when you use a straight one. The attachments are especially useful for people that like different parts of their facial hair to be at differing lengths.
  4. While brand doesn’t mean everything in the world, you should definitely opt for a trimmer that is from a brand that is well known. This is something that you will be using on a very sensitive area, so having the best is very important here. This does not mean that you have to buy the most expensive one on the market, but you should definitely invest a good amount of money into this purchase.
  5. Look for a unit that has self-sharpening blades. This is one feature that will assure you get the most life out of the product you choose. This does not mean that they will last forever, but you will get more use out of them than you would if the product used traditional blades.
Lawn Care

Buying Garden Patio Furniture

When the weather permits, there is no better place to be than in the garden. Every garden should contain furniture of some sort to provide comfort and relaxation for when gardening chores take a back seat and idleness becomes the order of the day.

Your choice of garden furniture will be based on several considerations. Larger families will obviously need a fair amount of seating and table space for eating, as will more social folks who enjoy hosting regular barbecues during the summer.

Not everyone likes hot, direct sunlight so a garden furniture set that includes a parasol might be a good choice (to provide shelter from the rain in addition to shade depending on the British summer), or perhaps a swing seat that incorporates canopy. If you like a bargain, try and buy your garden furniture before spring when demand starts to rise sharply.

The look of your furniture is also important depending on the style of your garden. A plastic table and char set is perfect for the smaller domestic garden but may look out of place in a traditional rustic cottage garden. Plastic furniture does have its advantages though; it’s light, easy to store, won’t break easily and can be cleaned quickly.

Teak furniture looks good in the majority of gardens and is available in a huge range of styles and sizes, making it a very popular (and often good value for money) option. Teak can be left outside all year without any problems but will need re-oiling if you want to maintain the rich deep brown colour.

For the ultimate in comfort and easy storage, why not consider a hammock? If you’re lucky enough to have a couple of suitable trees in the garden, a hammock positioned under a leafy canopy will provide the most alluring of opportunities for drifting off during a hot summer. Even if you don’t have a natural fixing point, specially designed stands are available allowing you to position the hammock wherever you choose.

GreenHouse

Buying a Greenhouse

There is no better way to increase the range of plants you are able to grow than with a greenhouse. A greenhouse creates ideal conditions for a range of fruit and vegetables and prolongs the growing season long after summer has left us for another year.

A guide to choosing a greenhouse

Ok, so you’re keen to get stuck in and start growing those 5 different varieties of tomatoes, first of all check to see if you actually have a suitable site for your greenhouse. You’ll need somewhere that will receive plenty of sunlight and is not completely obscured by the shade of trees or houses.

An ideal site will allow the greenhouse to be positioned with the long side facing south; not essential but this will allow for maximum sunlight and warmth. If possible, pick a site that will also allow for maximum sunlight during the autumn and spring when the sun is lower in the sky. Take into account nearby buildings and trees which may obscure the sun at certain times of year.

The site will need to be reasonably level and not prone to flooding. Don’t worry if the soil is poor as all greenhouse gardening can be carried out using grow-bags and containers.

Basic types of domestic greenhouse

There are two basic types of greenhouse.

  • Lean too – these have 3 sides and are designed to be positioned next to a wall or other vertical surface.
  • Free standing – the conventional 4 sided greenhouse

Other types include hexagonal shaped greenhouses, mini greenhouses and plastic poly tunnels.

Greenhouse materials

The most popular greenhouses are freestanding and are made from aluminium and glass. Aluminium doesn’t rust and will last for many years with no maintenance. Timber, although it looks stunning, will eventually need repainting or re-oiling.

Glass offers by far the best choice for the windows unless you have young children, in which case you might want to consider polycarbonate glazing for safety.

Polyethylene (as used on the poly tunnel type greenhouses) can tear easily and won’t stand up to strong winds particularly well, however they are cheaper and safer than glass.

What size greenhouse?

The size of greenhouse you choose depends on the available space and how much produce you want to grow. Greenhouse gardening is addictive, so get the largest you can because it wont be long before you’ve filled it with plants and vegetables. You may also need room for a potting bench or staging. A common size is 6×4 foot, but this often proves too small for the keen gardener.

If you just don’t have the space for a proper walk in greenhouse, there are other options available. Two Wests have a wide range of patio greenhouses which are ideal for the smaller garden.

During the summer, temperatures can become too extreme for the plants so the greenhouse will need ventilation. The more ventilation options the better. Two helpful aids to keeping the temperature correct are liquid shading and automatic window openers. Liquid shading (whitewash) is painted onto the outside of the greenhouse and reduces the effect of the suns rays. Automatic openers (auto vents) attach to the ventilation windows of the greenhouse and automatically operate when the temperature reaches a certain level.

Greenhouse humidity and watering

A good way to create a humid environment is to utilise a shingle floor inside the greenhouse. Lay an anti-weed membrane and cover with either pea shingle or the slightly larger 20mm beach shingle. During hot weather, sprinkle the shingle with water. The evaporating moisture will create the humid environment many plants and vegetables favour. For a vast range of greenhouse watering systems such as capillary matting, misting systems, gravity watering systems and soaker hose.

GreenHouse

Greenhouse Cleaning and Hygiene

As spring approaches and the growing season draws nearer, it’s time to start thinking about cleaning the greenhouse in preparation for the new crop. Greenhouse cleanliness is important to prevent any disease and infection spreading through your plants, and also to help maintain the general condition of the greenhouse.

Any old compost and fertilizer bags can harbour a range of insects and diseases and should ideally kept somewhere else such as the garden shed. Also, try to avoid leaving any dead vegetation in the greenhouse, put it in the compost as soon as you can. Pots, seed trays tools and staging should be washed with warm water and a little household (or horticultural) disinfectant. Clay pots can be soaked in a bucket of warm water to remove caked-on dirt and soil.

Give the inside of the greenhouse a good wash down with warm water and disinfectant. If you have a pressure washer, you can use it to gently remove dirt from the corners and crevices. A pressure washer is also useful for removing the strips of algae that form wherever the panes of glass overlap. Give the interior a spray with disinfectant after pressure washing and rinse again.

When you finished cleaning, check the hinges and sliding mechanisms on the doors and ventilators. Apply some light oil or WD40 where needed and replace any missing glazing clips. If you have automatic openers, refer to the manufacturers instructions regarding maintenance.

Try and treat the greenhouse environment as you would any other room in your house; a decent level of cleanliness will result in happier, healthier plants and crops

Lawn Care

Buying and Laying Garden Turf

When looking to create a new lawn, the advantages of using turf are obvious. Within a space of a few hours, bare earth is transformed into a new lawn. However, turf is more expensive than growing grass from seed and it requires careful maintenance during those first weeks to protect your investment.

Rolawn turf.

Turf is a classic example of ‘you get what you pay for’ so it makes sense to buy the best you can afford. If you go for the cheapest available and expect a decent lawn, you may be disappointed with the result.

Good quality turf costs money to produce and harvest properly. For a decent lawn, look for a turf that contains a mixture of different grass varieties and not just meadow grass. Either check with the supplier what varieties of grass the turf contains, or buy from a reputable source. Good quality turf will also be of a uniform thickness and be free of tears and holes. If it does have tears and holes, it was probably to young to harvest, or the soil layer is too thin. The correct age of cut turf is between 12-14 months and it should be harvested to order – not cut and then left rolled up until purchase.

The best known online turf supplier is Rolawn who supply two varieties of high quality turf cut to order and available for delivery. Use the turf calculator below to find out how much you need to buy.

Laying turf.

Turf can be laid at any time of year, but it is best to avoid carrying out turf laying in very cold or frosty conditions.

The preparation of the site is crucial to achieving a good lawn. If there is an existing lawn, this must be removed either by hand using a spade, or by hiring a turf cutter. The underlying soil needs to be dug to a depth of 4-6 inches and all roots, debris and large stones removed. For large areas you can save yourself a lot of time by using a rotavator.

The prepared area needs to firm and level, but not overly compacted. Walk back and forth over the area and ‘heel’ the soil, then level off using a flat edged rake. If you have the patience, allow the site to settle for a couple of weeks and check for any low spots and weed growth.

For the best results, buy some new topsoil and spread an inch or so over the new area. This will greatly encourage healthy root formation. If the underlying soil is poor, as is often the case with newly constructed homes, you may need to buy enough topsoil to replace the top 4 inches. Topsoil is best purchased from the same source as the turf. Suppliers will know and recommend the best soil type for your chosen turf. One of the best online sources of turf and topsoil is Rolawn. It is also advisable to apply a starter fertilizer to the area before you lay the turf.

If practical, always start laying the turf along a straight section of the garden. Give the bare earth a light sprinkle with water immediately before you begin laying the turf. Turf is best laid with the ends of each section staggered (similar to brickwork), this will lock the sections together and prevent long gaps. Cut the sections where necessary with a spade or old knife. Don’t try to bend the turf sections to form curved edges, lay them straight and trim to shape. Avoid walking directly on the freshly laid turf, use wooden boards to cross the area and to press the turf roots firmly down into the soil.

Water the turf thoroughly after laying and make sure the turf does not dry out for the first 2 weeks. After this period, the turf should have established itself and will require weekly watering during dry spells (just like any other lawn). Your new lawn can be mowed as soon as it’s long enough.

More Lawn Care Tips from Detmse – The Lawn Experts

To receive regular free lawn care tips and details of promotional offers, sign up to the Detmse newsletter. This free guide will give you valuable information on how to look after your lawn and how to get the best from it taking into account any seasonal or climate conditions at the time.

Lawn Care

Topdressing Your Lawn

Lawn topdressing helps to even out minor undulations, break down thatch and improve drainage and tolerance to wear and tear. Spring and autumn are ideal times to top dress the lawn, however it can be carried out at any time as long as the grass is growing actively. It is important that the conditions and the materials are right, ie the grass should be dry to avoid the material sticking to the grass leaves and the topdressing itself should be dry so that it can be worked easily.

Start by mowing the lawn and carrying out any other maintenance required, such as spiking and lawn scarification to remove moss and thatch.

Spread the lawn topdressing as evenly as possible and work into the surface of the lawn with the back of a rake or a stiff brush. If the surface is uneven, adding extra top dressing will help to fill in low spots, but do not cover the grass completely.

It is also a good idea to add a high quality grass seed to the topdressing to help fill in any thin or bare areas in the lawn, particularly if the lawn has also been scarified.

Recommend rates of lawn topdressing application:

  • Spring & Autumn – up to 3 litres per m² (approx 4kg/m²).
  • Summer – up to 1.5 litres per m² (approx 2kg/m²).

Once you have finished topdressing, there should be no obvious clumps of topdressing on the surface and the grass should be clearly visible. A good shower of rain or watering the lawn (when you have finished) will put the finishing touches to the task.

The lawn should not be cut immediately after applying topdressing, as this will remove some of the material that you are trying to work into the surface and may cause unnecessary wear to your mower.

Rolawn Lawn Topdressing is a high quality, sand based lawn topdressing available in convenient hooded 0.73m3 tote bags and small bags.

Rolawn Medallion® Premium Lawn seed is a superior blend of cultivars for a healthy, green and hardwearing lawn.

Rolawn Minster Pro™ Ornamental Lawn seed is a blend of fine leafed, shade & drought tolerant cultivars for ornamental lawns.

More Lawn Care Tips from Detmse – The Lawn Experts

To receive regular free lawn care tips and details of promotional offers, sign up to the Detmse newsletter. This free guide will give you valuable information on how to look after your lawn and how to get the best from it taking into account any seasonal or climate conditions at the time.

Lawn Care

Lawn Feed and Fertiliser

Why feed your lawn?

Lawn feeds and Fertilisers are an essential part of maintaining a healthy, vigorous and attractive lawn. Not only does feeding produce a greener looking lawn, it also promotes a thick, close knit turf able to withstand weeds, moss and drought far better than an untreated lawn.

Spring lawn feed and Fertiliser

The spring lawn feed is the most important of the year because it replenishes nitrogen reserves essential for vigorous growth throughout the summer. A spring lawn feed will contain a higher proportion of nitrogen than autumn lawn feed in addition to phosphorous and potassium.

 

 

Rolawn spring lawn feed contains:

N Nitrogen – To promote thicker, greener leaf growth
P Phosphorus – Strengthens the roots
K Potassium – Strengthens the shoots

N-P-K fertiliser ratio of 11:5:5

Mg Magnesium – Protects against pathogens
Mn Manganese – Helps roots resist fungal attacks
Fe Iron – Promotes a greener colour

Autumn lawn feeding

During autumn, an application of a nitrogen rich Fertiliser is not required because this will only encourage growth during the winter months. Although an autumn lawn feed will contain nitrogen (albeit less that a spring lawn feed) the primary ingredients will be phosphorus and potassium to strengthen roots and shoots before winter.

Rolawn autumn lawn feed contains:

N Nitrogen – To promote thicker, greener leaf growth
P Phosphorus – Strengthens the roots
K Potassium – Strengthens the shoots

N-P-K Fertiliser ratio of 4:10:5

Mg Magnesium – Protects against pathogens
Mn Manganese – Helps roots resist fungal attacks
Fe Iron – Promotes a greener colour

Summer lawn feeding

A summer lawn feed is not necessary unless your lawn appears pale during June and July, also take into account dry weather which will affect the growth rate and appearance. See our lawn care article for advice on lawn watering.

Applying lawn feed and Fertiliser

Lawn feed is best applied on a calm day, ideally just before rainfall. The soil needs to be moist, but the grass foliage dry. During a dry spell, water the lawn thoroughly and apply the lawn feed a couple of days later. If it does not rain within a couple of days of applying the lawn feed, water the area thoroughly again.

It’s important to apply lawn feed and Fertiliser as evenly as possible to avoid both untreated and over treated areas. Such errors will show up as pale patches, or greener, thicker areas of lawn. The most accurate method of applying lawn feed is to use a drop spreader if you have a small lawn, or a rotary spreader for larger areas. Two products worth looking at are the Westland drop spreader, and the Scotts rotary lawn spreader.

Lawn Care

Lawn Care and Maintenance

Mowing the lawn.

Lawn mowing begins in March and continues through to October. The lawn can also be given a light cut during milder periods in winter. At the beginning and end of the growing season, cut the lawn once a week. During the summer, cut twice a week. If the event of a dry spell, reduce the cutting to once a week.
If the lawn is allowed to get out of hand, reduce the long grass gradually over 2 or 3 cuts.
The cutting height depends on many factors such as the variety of grass and time of year, as a general guide, a height of just over an inch is the norm for a utility lawn during the summer.

Grass clippings.

Many people advise leaving the grass clippings on the turf to retain moisture and return nutrients to the lawn. This is ok when the weather is warm and dry and the clippings are able to dry out, but when they become damp the turf can become spongy and worm activity can increase. Worm casts cause small bumps in the lawn and provide an ideal place for weeds to take hold. Also, if you have a few weeds on your lawn to start with, spreading the clippings can spread the weeds.

Watering the lawn.

After a week of dry summer weather, it’s time to think about watering your lawn. You can tell when the turf needs water, firstly it starts to lose it’s springiness, then the bright green colour of the grass will start to dull. It’s important to water as soon as you notice these telltale signs as it won’t be long before the grass begins to turn light brown. In addition, some weeds are more drought resistant than grass and will begin to spread. Regardless of how dry the lawn gets – even if it turns brown – it will survive and recover, but it won’t look good and any weeds may have spread in the process.

Depending on the soil type, it may be necessary to spike the lawn prior to watering. Check to see if the soil is baked hard. As a general guide, give the lawn an inch a water for each dry week. Place a cup on the lawn within range of the sprinkler and run the water until the water in the cup is an inch deep. This will give you an idea of how long to run the sprinkler in each area of the lawn. Don’t water too regularly; once a week during a dry spell is sufficient.

Lawn raking and scarifying.

Gentle raking during spring helps to break up thatch and lifts the grass in preparation for mowing. Thatch (also called a mat) is a fibrous layer of dead matted grass on the surface of the soil. When thatch becomes more than an inch thick, it reduces water penetration. A metal tine lawn rake can be used gently to break the thatch up. Leave around half an inch of thatch as a thin layer does help prevent water loss and will give the lawn a springy feel.

Scarifying is basically using a rake with more force and is best carried out in the autumn. The purpose of scarification is to remove thatch and other debris from the lawn. When carried out in September, scarification will help encourage the production of side shoots. It also helps to remove moss after the application of a moss killer.

Aerating the lawn.

The purpose of lawn aeration is to allow oxygen and water to penetrate below the surface of the lawn and to allow carbon dioxide to escape. Aeration is achieved by spiking the lawn with a garden fork driven into the surface to a depth of 3-4 inches.

It is only really necessary to spike the BEST CORDED ELECTRIC LAWN MOWERS if you have heavily trafficked areas such as pathways or play areas, or if you notice water laying on the surface during rains. These areas are likely to suffer from compaction below the surface and will benefit from spiking during September. Use a garden fork or hollow tine aerator and leave 6 inches between the lines of holes.

Pricking is a gentler form of spiking and is carried out during spring and summer. Again, the objective of pricking is to allow water to penetrate the soil. Special pricking tools are available that slice into the lawn surface, pruning the grass roots and promoting growth.

Feeding the lawn.

An attractive lawn requires regular feeding with fertilizer in order to maintain a healthy appearance. In addition to making the grass look greener, lawn fertilizer produces a dense close-knit turf, making it harder for weeds and moss to take hold. See out lawn feeding article for more information.

When choosing a spring lawn feed, make sure you pick one made up mainly of nitrogen. This is the most important element required by the grass and promotes vigorous, green leaves.

The easiest option for lawn feeding is to use a specially made lawn builder or a feed that is designed for a specific time of year, for example, ‘Spring lawn Feed’. Many lawn feeds will also incorporate a weed or moss killer. A drop spreader will help to you apply lawn fertilizer quickly and evenly to a small lawn. If you have a large lawn, you can use a rotary type spreader.

More Lawn Care Tips from Rolawn – The Lawn Experts

To receive regular free lawn care tips and details of promotional offers, sign up to the Rolawn newsletter. This free guide will give you valuable information on how to look after your lawn and how to get the best from it taking into account any seasonal or climate conditions at the time.

Machinery & Mowers

Strimmers and Brush Cutters

Strimmers (or line trimmers) utilize a spinning nylon cord to trim grass and vegetation around borders and other tight spaces that cannot be easily reached with a lawn mower. Some strimmers are fitted with two nylon cords for better performance. The cord is contained in a spool within the strimmer head and can be fed out as the cord wears. Some models do this automatically. Eventually, you will need to purchase a new spool of cord.

When choosing a strimmer, consider the size of the swathe head, i.e. the width of the cutting area. Smaller cutting swathes are more suitable for confined areas.

Electric and battery cordless strimmers

For most gardens, an electric strimmer is perfectly adequate. They are lightweight, quiet and available for under £25. However, unless you opt for a battery powered cordless strimmer the power cord will restrict movement in larger gardens.

If you’re looking for an electric strimmer, two ranges worthy of consideration are the Viking models which are made by German machinery experts Stihl, and the Bosch range.

Petrol Strimmers

For heavier work, or clearing large areas, a petrol strimmer or petrol brush cutteris more suitable. In addition to nylon cord, many can be fitted with different metal blades for tackling brambles, brush and small trees.

Two well respected brands of petrol driven strimmer are Honda and Kawasaki.

Multi purpose models can serve as hedge cutters, pruners, soil tillers and power brooms through the addition of various attachments. If you have a large garden to maintain, these models make perfect sense as you only need one engine to power a range of tools.

For really tough growth, consider a wheeled trimmer or a field and brush mower.

Always wear eye protection when using strimmers and take care when working near to shingle or stony ground as it’s very easy to break a window with flying debris.

Machinery & Mowers

Garden Shredders and Chippers

Whatever work you carry out in the garden, it seems you can’t avoid creating a pile of green waste. Why not get a garden shredder or chipper and turn that green waste into something useful?

Chippings

Chippings are produced from thicker stemmed material being passed through a wood chipper. As the material is fed into the machine, sharp blades cut the material across the grain of the wood to produce chips. Wood chip is not really suitable for composting as it takes to long to decompose but it can be used as a mulch around plants and as a ground covering in play areas and on paths.

Shredded garden waste.

A garden shredder works in a different way to a chipper. Rather than cutting across the grain of the material, a garden shredder will cut and crush the material along the grain. This is essential in helping the material to rot quickly. Shredded material can be mixed into the compost bin to further decompose. It can also be spread on the surface of beds and borders as a mulch to suppress weeds and retain moisture.

Compost is decomposed material ideal for digging into flower and vegetable beds. It’s role is to add nutrients to the soil to aid the healthy growth of plants, shrubs and vegetables. Compost can be created from kitchen waste such as vegetable scraps, tea bags, egg shells and from garden waste that has been processed with a shredder.

Shredder, chipper or both?

It all depends on what material you will be recycling and what you want to achieve with the processed material. If you have mainly leaves, twigs and hedge cuttings and you want to make compost, then a dedicated garden shredder will suffice. Some of the better electrically powered shredders will handle branches up to around 35-40 mm in diameter. Always check the maximum diameter of waste the shredder is able to process to ensure it’s suitable for your needs.

If you’re looking for a good value machine to shred the majority of garden waste, there is a range here worth looking at.

Quiet electric garden shredders

Many manufacturers seem intent on keeping your neighbours happy by producing garden shredders that operate a reduced noise levels.

Atco electric shredders are renowned for quiet operation whilst shredding material up to 35mm in diameter. A reverse feature is also included. Also worth considering are the Bosch range.

Mountfield make a ‘quiet’ electric shredder capable of shredding material up to 40mm in diameter. This machine also incorporates a reverse function to clear blockages – a useful facility not found on many cheap shredders.

 

Garden chippers

If you want to process larger woody material for use as a ground covering, then a chipper may be best option. Some machines combine both a chipper and shredder, usually as petrol powered units.

Masport are a well respected brand for many types of garden machinery and this model combines both chipper and shredder capabilities.

The Allen Mighty Mac is another popular petrol powered shredder/chipper combination machine which will chip branches up to 75mm in diameter and shred brushwood. Two engines are offered – a 6hp and a 10hp.

Heavy duty garden shredders.

There are dedicated shredders that can handle thicker material allowing you to compost all of your garden waste. Eliet shredders are well known for the fine shredded material produced from all types of garden waste some Eliet models are capable of shredding branches up to 50mm in diameter. For serious shredding, be sure to investigate the Eliet Major Pro.

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