Home Improvement

Home Owner Tip – Use Coffee Grounds to Keep Pets Out of Your Garden and Flower Beds

Posted on October 25, 2008. Filed under: Home Improvement | Tags: , , , |

It’s Spring Time again and you know what that means.  It’s time to get out there are do some Spring Cleaning.  Time to clean up your flower beds and vegetable gardens and get them ready for new growth!

But how do you keep those neighborhood cats from using your flower beds as their litter box?

How do you keep your dog from trampling all over your flowers, plants and shrubs in your backyard?

The Answer…      COFFEE GROUNDS Starbucks Coffee

Our local Eureka California Starbucks gives this stuff away for free!  And not only does it keep those pesky pets out of your yard, it helps you nourish your plants too!  I live in a neighborhood where we have good number of cats, both strays and ones who have owners, who hang out near my house all the time.  Of course it doesn’t help that one of my neighbors feeds the strays.  Oh well.  Last year, while doing some needed weeding, I would always grab onto some cat poop accidentally.  Thank goodness I wore gloves.  It’s kind of gross.

So my husband and I started adding coffee grounds to our flower beds and viola, no more kitty litter flower beds for us.  Plus our flowers and roses looked healthier.  So guess what…we killed two birds with one stone.  We found a way to keep the local pet community out of our yard and help our plants grow healthier in the long run.

Keeping your Dog out of Your Flower BedsBenjamin

Another problem was Benjamin (my dog) and oh yes he is very cute, but also very destructive.  He had this ritual of walking the perimeter of our backyard every morning, (which is where my landscaped beds are located), trampling on every plant in site.  So my husband and I decided to try the coffee ground method and see if it made a difference.  We applied several bags of coffee grounds on all of our beds, and lo and behold it worked!

Benjamin is staying away from our flowerbeds.  Yeah!  Last year our perimeter beds looked like a war zone, this year they are lush green and beautiful!Backyard post Coffee Grounds

Other garden pet repellents:

Just like coffee grounds, I’ve heard that Cayenne Pepper can also help keep pets out of your garden and flower beds.  Just like coffee grounds cats and dogs don’t like the smell or the taste (especially Cayenne–OUCH) when licking their paws clean.  So it’s negative reinforcement for your pets.  They quickly learn that going in your flower beds becomes an unpleasant experience.

Edited: Thanks Elizabeth for bringing this up – I wanted to mention that personally this has worked for me and Ben has not shown any signs of caffeine poisoning, but I would definitely check with your local vet – dogs can get sick from caffeine including coffee grounds just like they can if they eat enough chocolate.  So check with your vet first if you’re concerned.

Copyright 2008 Jessica Bigger.  All Rights Reserved.  *Home Owner Tip – Use Coffee Grounds to Keep Pets Out of Your Garden and Flower Beds*


Visit www.GoHumboldtHomes.com for information about the Humboldt County Real Estate market, to learn more about how we can help you whether you’re ready to sell your current home or buying your first home.  Or just learn more about what our community has to offer if you’re considering moving to Humboldt County California.

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Gaining an Appreciation for the Old Window Design? Priceless. Eureka CA Window Restoration Workshop.

Posted on October 25, 2008. Filed under: Home Improvement |

Even if you’re not into learning how to repair, or renovate your charming old single pane windows, sometimes it’s good to get an overview so you have a general understanding about the process before hiring an expert or just getting plain frustrated and replacing those “old worn out windows” with vinyl dual pane.  Because there is nothing like the look of an old wood window – not even a similar vinyl copy can truly replace the original charm and character of it’s original.

Eureka CA Window WorkshopI had an opportunity last Saturday to sit through a window restoration workshop hosted by my friend Bill Hole who heads up the Preservation and Restoration program at Humboldt County California’s College of the Redwoods.

And I truly learned an incredible amount during the six-hour workshop.  Currently the CR restoration and preservation students are restoring a Queen Anne Victorian on F Street in Eureka California, called The Annie B. House.  I have to admit, once you understand the brilliance in the old window design, especially since the old window has done its job for over 115 years, you might think twice about removing them.

The fascinating thing about these windows is that they were made and assembled in a factory during the Industrial Revolution.  Think about it.  Each piece on your window was duplicated hundreds of times on a factory line, assembled at the factory and shipped to the building site.  The whole window, including its casing was then installed into the home.

Even all those fancy decorative pieces you see on the exterior of many older homes…also manufactured.Eureka CA Window Workshop

Each piece on an older window fit together perfectly.  If you’ll look closely you will not find any nails used to keep all those parts together.  They all fit together snugly.  And at least in Humboldt County California, because most windows were made with old growth Redwood, many of them are still in good shape… even after 100 years of being in your house.  They just need a little TLC.  A little maintenance goes a long way and can sometimes be remarkably cheaper than spending $$$ to replace a window (parts and labor included).  You just need to find someone who has experience working on older windows or do it yourself.

Older windows if restored to its working condition will actually keep drafts out.  The drafts you feel in your house are the result of windows that need a little tweaking to seal out the cold.  Another reason your windows may not work properly is because several coats of paint have been applied to each window part over the years.  Certain parts need to be free of paint in order for them to move properly.

Eureka CA Window Workshop

There are many things you can do to bring your old windows back to life:

Old hardware covered in paint can be brought back to life with a little TSP Substitute (Tri-Sodium Phosphate) soaking and a good cleaning using a metal brush wheel.Eureka CA Window Workshop

Need to replace a sash cord (that holds the window weight)?  You don’t have to pry off the window casing trim to get to the pulley/weight system.  All you have to do is pull off a small piece inside your window.Eureka CA Window Workshop

Eureka CA Window Workshop

And a final tip from the experts:  When starting to free up painted parts off your window, try using an army knife to cut through the paint before you start removing any pieces.  Then slowly and patiently start prying parts away using a small prying tool.

So if nothing else I gained an incredible appreciation for the ingenuity that went into the old window design and I am more than happy to slowly repair each and every one of my old windows so they last another 115 years for all to appreciate and enjoy.

Eureka CA Window Workshop

Copyright 2008 Jessica Bigger.  All Rights Reserved.  * Gaining an Appreciation for the Old Window Design?  Priceless. Eureka CA Window Restoration Workshop.*

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