Closing Up Your Container GardenWritten by Debbie Rodgers
All good things eventually come to an end and so summer is waning, even as autumn gives most of us a fresh start. I'll bet your summer container plantings aren't really benefiting, though, from "back to school-oh I love a clean notebook" boost and aren't dying as gracefully as summer itself is. You're going to have to help them through this!
Saving Summer I understand if you just can't bear thought of waving good-bye to your wave petunias just yet. That's okay - you can bring some of your tropical annuals indoors for winter, to ease pain of parting with them.
If you have space, a sunny window and enough moisture, you can save palms, ferns and other tropicals. Likely though, you'll have more success with taking cuttings and helping your plants clone themselves. (It's kind of like Day of Triffids without evil.)
Pick a healthy plant with no nasty bugs or blights. With a sharp knife, cut off non-flowering stems 3-4 inches (8-11 cm) long, and strip leaves off lower two-thirds of stem. Dip cut edges in rooting hormone, available at your local nursery, and stick them in dampened sand or peat moss, or a glass of tap water. Place pot, tray or glass in a sunny spot and wait 3-4 weeks. If cuttings are in sand or peat, don't forget to water to keep them damp throughout that time.
When roots are at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, you can plant them in potting soil in attractive containers and winter them on a sunny windowsill or table. This method works well with annuals such as geraniums (pelargonium), coleus, and some ivies. You can also try propagating impatiens this way.
INSTALLING VINYL REPLACEMENT WINDOWS IN A WOOD FRAME OPENING. Written by John Rocco
When we left off last week, we had removed old wood sash windows and prepared opening for vinyl replacement windows. Now it's time to install your new windows. You should have someone there to help you when doing installation. First, Remove all shipping materials from window. Now, if you are installing several different sizes, make sure you are putting correct window in correct opening. You need to put window into opening to make sure it's going to fit, then remove it and run a bead of caulk on face of outside blind stop where window will rest. You don't want to caulk, only to discover windows are too big. It's worth extra few minutes to make sure it's going to fit. Lift window and set bottom in first. Then raise top until it rests against outside blind stops. Sometimes, when raising top into position, window frame will hit top of wood frame. You need to tap down on top of vinyl frame while keeping pressure towards outside.
Once you determine that it's going to fit, remove new window and set it aside. Run a bead of caulk on face of outside blind stops. White latex painters caulk works fine. Raise window into position again. Now have your helper hold window in position while you raise and lower sashes, making certain that window is square in opening. Remember how you ordered windows 3/16"- 1/4" shorter than tightest measurement? This is where you use this space to adjust frame to be most plumb and level. Get a box of popsicle sticks and wood coffee stirrers at grocery store. The coffee stirrers are about 1/16" thick, and popsicle sticks are approximately twice as thick. You want to put shims in four corners. Then caulk gap on both sides and along top before installing inside stops. I don't recommend putting any screws in sides, but you can put one screw in top center and one in bottom center. You really dont have to use any screws in this kind of installation, since shims will eliminate any side play, and caulk on blind stops will hold frame in place as well. Remember, we still need to re-install inside stops.
Before installing inside stops, remove all old nails and replace them with new nails. A 1"- 1 1/4" finish nail is fine. Before installing inside stops, scrape all old caulk off stops. Then, while your helper holds window in place, nail your stops back on. If window has 4 stops, install shortest ones first. That way you can bend longer stops into place between two short ones. Use a nail punch to sink head past surface of stop. If you have several windows to do, i suggest doing first window to this point before going to next. How frustrating would it be to have a helper removing old sashes, only to discover that windows aren't going to fit!? If first one goes in fine, then you can send your helper ahead of you to start removing old sashes. The best way to avoid nightmare of having a bunch of new windows that won't fit is to make sure you measure CORRECTLY. Remember, tight minus 1/4" on width and height should be fine.