Day: September 8, 2016

Got Gas? What To Do If You Smell Gas Inside Your Home

If you smell gas in your home…then you just might have a problem. You likely have a gas leak. I’m not referring to gasoline here but I’ll suggest (with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek) that if you smell gasoline inside the living space of your home, then you might want to consider parking your car outside or in the garage. Seriously, though, the smell of gas inside your home is no laughing matter.

Gas is used as a fuel to operate many different systems in modern homes. Gas is most often used by systems that heat the home such as furnaces and boilers. Gas-fired waters heaters are very common. It can be used as a fuel for cooking such as with ranges or cook-tops, for fireplaces to provide heat or for decoration, and for other uses e.g. clothes dryers. It is, after all, an efficient fuel and is readily available in some form in most geographical locations. Two types of gas are in common residential use…natural gas and Liquefied Propane (LP) gas. Each has its own properties and each is unique in various ways. Let’s examine the two different types of gas.

Natural gas is a carbon-based fossil fuel that is typically piped directly into a home by a public utility operator. It is lighter than air which means that, if it leaks, it will readily dissipate into the atmosphere.

LP gas is also a carbon-based fossil fuel. It has more available energy per unit measure than does natural gas and it is readily able to turn to a liquid state. LP gas is heavier is approximately 1.5 times heavier than air…which means that, if it should leak, it sinks to the floor or grade level and will collect in low areas (more on that later).

It is worthy of note that, in their natural states (conditions), both natural gas and LP gas are virtually odorless. To enable people being able to readily detect gas leakage (using their nose), processors of both products add a chemical called Methyl Mercaptan to the gas mixture. Methyl Mercaptan has been described as smelling like something akin to rotten cabbage or rotten eggs. Listen up…this is important! If you smell rotten cabbage, and you’re pretty sure you don’t have any rotten cabbage lying around, then that odor should cause an instantaneous alarm to go off inside your head. If you suspect that there’s a gas leak inside your home, there are some things you need to do…and quickly. There are also a few things not to do.

Things NOT To Do:

• Panic…you’re well-being depends on you keeping a clear head and systematically doing what you need to do in a timely manner. If you freak out as soon as you smell gas, you won’t be thinking clearly

• Light a match or cigarette lighter…this may seem like a no-brainer but, well, it has happened and the results weren’t pretty

• Do not operate any electric devices to include light switches, appliances, …

How to Plant Tomato Plants Without Tilling Your Soil

It’s springtime and you, like many people, find yourself wanting to raise some homegrown tomatoes at home. There are two primary ways to do this. One way is to plant your plants directly into the ground. Another way is to plant your tomato plants in any of various types of containers designed for that purpose.

In this article, I will be looking specifically at the option of planting your plants directly into the ground and whether or not you should have to till your ground with a machine tiller or not.

Most people tend to think that if you are going to have a garden of any type that it is best to purchase or rent or borrow a tiller and till up the soil in the area that is to be your garden. Many people have taken this approach over the years, but recently it has become the subject of controversy. There are some agriculturalists that are now saying that tilling your soil right before planting is not a good idea and that it actually does damage to the structure of the soil.

Many of us don’t have the time or the money to get a tiller and till up a part of our yard. So how do we deal with this situation if we don’t want to till, but have very hard, dense, and compacted soil?

The answer to this is relatively simple and is one that I have used with successful results. What you can do is dig a hole in the ground with a shovel where you want to plant your tomato plant. Make the hole approximately 15 inches around and anywhere from 18 to 24 inches deep. This hole in the ground essentially becomes your “pot” for your plant.

Next what you should do is fill the hole with a planting mix that you create. What I have done is used a mixture of potting mix, peat moss, organic humus, and vermiculite. All of these items can be purchased at your local home store. You can add some of the original soil back into your mix if you want, but make sure that the original soil content in your mix is less than 50 percent. If you prefer, it is perfectly acceptable to put all of your original soil elsewhere in your landscape and fill the hole completely with your new mix.

Fill the hole up with the mix flush to the ground and plant your tomato plant or seedling in the middle. At this point, it is helpful to put some mulch around the plant that will cover all of your planting mix. I prefer to use a black colored mulch purchased from my local home store. The reason for this is because tomato plant roots like to be in warm soil, and the black colored mulch will absorb the sun and help your new planting mix to warm up quicker. When your soil is warm, your tomato plant will grow at a more …