10 DIY and gardening tricks

The world is what you make of it — and this is definitely the case when it comes to prettying up the garden or tackling those home improvement projects. So the following article contains 10 helpful tips for any recreational gardeners, DIY enthusiasts, and for all those who want to join the first two groups.

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1. Clean up oil spills with kitty litter

Get rid of an oil spill in your garage or driveway with the help of mineral-based kitty litter spread liberally over the oil. Wait until the oil is absorbed, then sweep the kitty litter up in order to dispose of it properly. Repeat this process, until the oil spill has completely disappeared.

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2. Slug traps

Fashion a non-toxic slug trap, by mixing together a little over 2 pints of water, just under 1 oz of malt extract and 1 fl oz of alcohol. The mixture should be enough to divide between four empty milk cartons. Leave them open around the garden and wait until the slugs are drawn to the mixture and slither in.

Then, you can close the cartons and set the slugs free again far away from your garden. It's best to wear gloves for this, in order to avoid coming into contact with the slugs' slime.

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3. Wrench and coins

If you don't have a wrench that's the right size, use one that's a bit too big for the nut instead and fill the gap between the wrench and the nut with coins.

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4. Safeguard your saw blades with garden hose

Look after the saw blade on your hand saw by covering it with a corresponding length of garden hose. Trim the hose to match the length of the blade, use a box cutter to make a slit down the pipe and then pull it over the blade.

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5. Anchor tents in sand with drinks cans

Securing a tent in sand with tent pegs is next to impossible. But here's how you can use a drinks can to help. First, flatten the drinks can sideways. Next, bore a hole through the can with a knife, in order to thread the tent's guy rope through it, and then knot it on the side of the can. You then simply bury the can in the sand.

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6. Refill oil with a screwdriver

If you try to top up the oil in your car without using a funnel, things can quickly go sideways. But you can manage without a funnel, if you hold a screwdriver with the tip inserted into the oil tank and let the oil run down it into the tank.

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7. Charcoal in the water for your flowers

Avoid stinky water in your flower vases, by putting a piece of charcoal in with the blooms. Over time, the water starts to smell, because microorganisms replace the plants, which means the flower stems start to rot. The charcoal binds the microorganisms and slows down the foul-smelling decay process.

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8. Remove plugs with a corkscrew

You can remove dowels or plugs from the wall with the help of a corkscrew. To do this, hook the tip of the corkscrew into the plug, turn it a little way into the plug and then pull it out of the wall.

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9. Use sticky tape to determine the depth of a borehole

So that a plug doesn't disappear into the wall, the depth of borehole and the length of the plug should be the same size. To achieve this, hold the plug against the drill, and stick some tape around the drill bit at the end of the plug. Now you have a marker that shows you how deep your hole in the wall needs to be.

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10. Lawn sprinkler and a glass jar

When you want to water your lawn in summer using a lawn sprinkler, you can check the water consumption by standing an empty preserve jar on the grass. The water from the sprinkler will collect in the jar.

As soon as the water reaches about an inch in depth, you can turn off the sprinkler, as the amount of water squirted out up to that point will be sufficient for irrigating your lawn. Thanks to this method, you will no longer waste unnecessary water.

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At least when the time for spring cleaning comes around, the tips listed here to get the house in good shape and get the garden going again should come in handy. So get to work!

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