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How to help your indoor garden thrive

<p>Plants bring life and colour into the home and require little in the way of maintenance. Follow these simple tips and your plants should flourish.</p> <p><strong>Position plants carefully</strong></p> <p>Look for the best place in the house for each plant, and don’t be afraid to try different locations until you find the best spot</p> <p><strong>Re-create a forest floor</strong></p> <p>If a room seems too dark to sustain a healthy plant, don’t be fooled. Most indoor plants originate in tropical and subtropical regions, in particular equatorial forests, and they thrive in dim environments and filtered light. The ideal spot is in front of a large window facing east or west, filtered if necessary through a net scrim curtain.</p> <p><strong>Sun-lovers face north</strong></p> <p>If you have a plant that thrives on lots of sun, place it on a windowsill facing north or north-east. Check soil moisture levels regularly and inspect the leaves to check they are not being burned. At the slightest sign of withering, move the plant towards the middle of the room. </p> <p><strong>Plants for the bathroom</strong></p> <p>Ferns and other moisture-loving plants do best in vaporous rooms like bathrooms where they can lap up regular doses of mist.</p> <p><strong>Water from the bottom</strong></p> <p>Water poured directly onto the soil may flood, or not reach the pot plant’s roots. Instead, water plants bottom up by standing them in a dish and filling the dish with water. Delicate plants such as fuchsias thrive on this method. For this method to work, all pots should have holes in the bottom through which the water is absorbed</p> <p><strong>Keep away from drafts</strong></p> <p>If you don’t want your plant to die of heat or cold, avoid placing it in draughty areas or near ducted heat or air-conditioning outlets.</p> <p><em>Written by Brenda Schmerl. This article first appeared in </em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/gardening-tips/how-help-your-indoor-garden-thrive"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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5 steps to a green winter lawn

<p>The backyard tends to get neglected in winter as cool weather keeps people indoors. When there’s less sun to produce chlorophyll, grass growth is slowed and the lawn colour fades. </p> <p><strong>1. Give it some air</strong></p> <p>The lawn compacts when people or vehicles move over it regularly and wet soil is even more prone to this problem. Test by pushing in a garden fork, if it won’t go in far then the lawn needs aerating.</p> <p><strong><u>FOR SMALL LAWNS</u></strong> Wiggle a fork into the soil across the entire area every 100mm, opening up the soil so oxygen and water can get to the roots. </p> <p><strong><u>FOR BIG LAWNS</u></strong> aerate the soil by hiring a lawn corer, for about $85 for four hours, from <a href="http://www.kennards.com.au/">Kennards Hire</a>. </p> <p><strong>2. Check the pH</strong></p> <p>Measure the acidity or alkalinity of the soil using a pH test kit, $13 from nurseries or hardware stores. The ideal level is between 6.5 and 7. Below 6.5 means soil is acidic and needs a handful of dolomite for every square metre followed by a good soaking. Above 7 means the soil is alkaline.</p> <p><strong>3. Feed the lawn </strong></p> <p>Use a fertiliser spreader for even distribution of a slow-release lawn fertiliser such as Yates Lush Lawn Lifter. </p> <p>Also add a soil-wetting agent in preparation for warmer, drier weather. Always water lawns well after feeding as the fertiliser can burn the grass if it’s left on dry. </p> <p><strong><u>TIP </u></strong>To avoid disease and rot from too much moisture, water in winter only after a long period without rain.</p> <p><strong>4. Cut for growth</strong></p> <p>Mow the lawn every three to four weeks. Set the blade height to cut weeds and just the tip of the grass to leave a larger leaf surface area to capture sunlight, increasing the photosynthesis process. </p> <p><strong>5. Zap the weeds</strong></p> <p>Weeds flourish in weakened winter grass so dig them out of small lawns with a trowel or garden fork. Spray larger areas with weed killer.</p> <p><em>Written by Jecca Blake. Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/5-steps-green-winter-lawn"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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The unusual cleaning hack Peter Overton swears by

<p>Nine News presenter Peter Overton has an unusual parenting trick that’s hidden up his sleeve.</p> <p>Overton’s daughters Allegra, 12 and Giselle, 10, wear Panama-style hats which are a part of their school uniforms.</p> <p>His trick for getting them clean is easier than you think.</p> <p>He revealed the genius hack to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://honey.nine.com.au/mums/peter-overton-cleaning-tip/d9d8774f-fd72-4f59-9b59-8a77c900c95a" target="_blank">9Honey</a></em>:</p> <p>"You put them on low heat in the dishwasher with a little bit of powder, no dirty dishes, just the hat," Overton explained.</p> <p>"They come out looking better than new. They come out shining."</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BrrwwcnBD8j/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BrrwwcnBD8j/" target="_blank">Perfect last day in Hong Kong... 🇨🇳wind💨 in our hair 💇🏼‍♀️and a bus ride! 🚌We have been swept away by the kindness of the people in this chaotic, crazy city!💓 #craphousewife #welovehongkong</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/jessjrowe/" target="_blank"> Jessica Rowe</a> (@jessjrowe) on Dec 22, 2018 at 12:59am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>He also spoke about how one of his “great joys” is walking his daughters into school each morning. Overton embraces the chance to speak with them along the way.</p> <p>"As you walk in you don't have eye contact, so they tend to just chat away and you hear things ... they're not feeling contained," he explained.</p> <p>"The last thing Giselle says to me every day is, 'Will I be awake when you get home from work?'</p> <p>"I always say, 'Yes you will, and if I have to go out, I'll come in and give you a kiss.'"</p>

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How to build a picket fence

<p>A picket fence is ideal for Federation homes and consists of a number of evenly spaced pickets attached to two horizontal rails supported by posts spaced about 2m apart.</p> <p>You can build a fence by cutting all the pickets the same length, or you can create a curved look by adjusting their lengths and attaching the shortest in the centre and the longest at the ends.</p> <p>To build the fence, temporarily position the posts to check the height, then cut the rail housings. Sink the posts in the ground with concrete and leave to set. Secure the rails in the housings, then attach the pickets. </p> <p><strong>Secure the pickets </strong></p> <p>The key to building a professional-looking fence is to keep the picket’s level and evenly spaced. Use spacers to make sure the gaps are even, aligning the tops of the pickets with a stringline set between the posts.</p> <p><strong>Step 1: Make pilot hole</strong></p> <p>Make a pilot hole jig by drilling two pairs of 3mm holes into a picket aligned to each of the rails. Offset the pairs of holes 15mm from the edges to prevent twisting. Position the jig to drill into three pickets at a time.</p> <p><strong>Step 2: Set pickets</strong></p> <p>Set out the pickets using two 33mm wide spacers made from offcuts with a cross member so they can hang off the rails. Mark out the picket positions with even spacing, starting at the centre of the rails and working towards either side.</p> <p><strong>Step 3: Prepare pickets</strong></p> <p>Prepare the pickets by cutting them to size with a mitresaw, sanding with 150 grit abrasive paper, then priming and painting. Secure each picket using two 45mm x 8g square drive treated pine screws, checking for plumb with a level.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/build-picket-fence"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Do you wash this body part in the shower? Simple question sparks huge online debate

<p>Showering seems to be a pretty straightforward task – turn on the water, lather, clean and rinse. However, a simple question about a common shower habit has taken Twitter by storm, dividing people all over the Internet.</p> <p>The burning question came from American writer and graphic designer Conor Arpwel, who posted a poll on his account on Friday.</p> <p>“Do you wash your legs when you take a shower?” he asked.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Do you wash your legs when you take a shower?</p> — Conor Arpwel 🌹🧰🌾 (@Arpwel) <a href="https://twitter.com/Arpwel/status/1126594900055793671?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Within 24 hours, Arpwel’s post went viral with an overwhelming number of responses. At the time of writing, more than 816,000 people had voted on the poll, with the majority (81 per cent) saying they wash their legs.</p> <p>Many of the leg-washers have expressed confusion over the idea of skipping the lower body parts in the shower. “Are there people who do not feel the need to... wash their legs...” one asked.</p> <p>“I’ve spent awhile thinking about all the reasons not to wash every inch of your body while in the shower and I couldn’t find one,” another commented.</p> <p>“Everyone who voted no, think about all the toilet seats you’ve sat on and wash those thighs!” one urged.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none"> <p dir="ltr">I wash everything. What is this question?</p> — Ms.TymberleeChanel (@TymberleeHill) <a href="https://twitter.com/TymberleeHill/status/1126964650233430016?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 10, 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none"> <p dir="ltr">so people really just walking around with clean everything else but dirty legs I- <a href="https://t.co/C7EoUwRnrl">pic.twitter.com/C7EoUwRnrl</a></p> — 𝒥𝑜𝓇𝒹𝓎𝓃🧸 (@prettyprncesss) <a href="https://twitter.com/prettyprncesss/status/1127013395948089345?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 11, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Non-leg-washers have their own explanation. “I only [wash my legs] if I’ve been bare legged or to the gym and they feel sweaty,” one shared. “I used to but when I got eczema on my legs I had to stop as soap made it worse and I was told not to use SLS soaps. It's bad for your skin and mostly unnecessary.”</p> <p>Another replied, “They've been safe inside my pants, the whole day. What's the problem?”</p> <p>One believed the trickle-down effect is enough to keep their lower body clean. “I feel like my legs don’t get dirty,” they wrote. “Plus, soap and shampoo run down my legs when I’m showering.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Does the shower not automatically do that?</p> — The Sassiest Semite (@LittleMissLizz) <a href="https://twitter.com/LittleMissLizz/status/1127026932791566336?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 11, 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none"> <p dir="ltr">I'm tired of hiding in the shadows, which is why I'm coming forward to say... I don't wash my legs. Soap is not good for your skin! I wash all the parts of me that get smelly, the soapy water washes over the rest of me, but I feel no need to scrub all of my skin, thanks</p> — ghostmeow 🌹 (@ghostmeow) <a href="https://twitter.com/ghostmeow/status/1126954148249915393?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 10, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>As the question’s creator, Arpwel stated his position on the matter. “Leg washing is an important component of my cleanliness regimen, but also I’m not out to get people who don’t wash their legs for various reasons,” he wrote.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">My name is Conor Arpwel and I am a leg washer<br /><br />Leg washing is an important component of my cleanliness regimen, but also I’m not out to get people who don’t wash their legs for various reasons<br /><br />I only meant for this whole thing to be a fun &amp; frivolous topic of conversation lol</p> — Conor Arpwel 🌹🧰🌾 (@Arpwel) <a href="https://twitter.com/Arpwel/status/1126889261129719816?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 10, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>A dermatologist has previously shared his two cents on the subject. “Unless your legs are visibly soiled, you don't actually need to wash them directly with a cleanser,” Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a19902843/should-you-wash-your-legs/" target="_blank"><em>Women’s Health</em></a>. “The cleanser that drips down your body is enough to remove most of the dirt and sweat that accumulates during the day.”</p>

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“I can’t bear them”: The one piece of furniture House Rules judge Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen hates

<p>As <em>House Rules</em>’ judge Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen reaches his third year as a judge on the renovation reality show, the English interior designer has seen it all.</p> <p>As he’s known on the show for his cutting honesty, there’s always one piece of furniture that he’s stayed mum about.</p> <p>However, he’s had enough. Llewelyn-Bowen, 54, has admitted that he hates coffee tables.</p> <p>In his 17th century country manor, you won’t find one in sight.</p> <p>“I don’t use coffee tables at all,” he explained to <a rel="noopener" href="https://thenewdaily.com.au/entertainment/tv/2019/05/12/house-rules-judge-coffee-tables/" target="_blank"><em>The New Daily</em>.</a></p> <p>“I can’t bear them. They end up being repositories of stuff because they’re there.”</p> <p>“A coffee table ends up being this big pile of schizzle in the middle of a sitting room. It’s irrelevant. Useless. Why bother?”</p> <p>For those of you who enjoy your coffee tables, don’t stress. There are ways to revamp your home without spending a bomb on new furniture.</p> <p>The <em>House Rules</em> judge suggests piling all your furniture in the middle of the room and then “play around and see what sticks and what gets thrown out.”</p> <p>“Be decisive. Rooms can end up stagnating slightly, but one mistake is this obsession with the total renovation,” he suggests.</p> <p>“The total makeover is not necessarily always the best thing to do at all. Something in between moving stuff around and the makeover … having a big rethink is a very good way of doing it.”</p> <p>However, if you think his home is devoid of life, that’s where you’d be wrong.</p> <p>“It’s not about a contrived, controlled design experience, it’s much more easygoing,” he explains.</p> <p>“You can be way too house proud. When you take out all the germs, your house stops being a living organism.”</p> <p>As Llewelyn-Bowen lives in Gloucestershire in the UK, he has a very famous neighbour “just around the corner”.</p> <p>Who is it? The Duchess of Cornwall.</p> <p>“I love Camilla. The first time I ever got introduced she was holding my hand, and looked me up and down and went, ‘He-llo.’ It was like a Carry On film,” he said with excitement.</p>

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New research exposes big plastic bag myth

<p>If you’re someone who uses biodegradable plastic bags for the greater good of the environment, then unfortunately, there’s some bad news.</p> <p>Plastic bags that claim to be biodegradable are anything but. A new research has revealed in some instances, bags can still carry a full load of shopping three years after they were disposed.</p> <p>Disposable bags are supposed to be the solution to the worrying problems our planet is currently facing, with the plastic expected to decompose when buried in landfill or washed into sea.</p> <p>Published in <em>Environmental Science and Technology</em>, the study researched biodegradable, oxo-biodegradable, compostable and standard plastic bag over three years.</p> <p>The bags were then exposed to three different environments: open air, buried in soil and submerged in seawater. They also studied the bag in laboratory conditions. Depending on the environment they were in, the bags reacted different.</p> <p>When left in the open-air for nine months, all bag materials dissolved into fragments. When exposed to water, the bag disintegrated within three months, and when buried in soil, the environmentally friendly bag was still around after 27 months but was unusable due to tearing.</p> <p>But two of the bags, which are termed as oxo-biodegradable, spent three years in the ground or underneath seawater, and could still carry a load of shopping.</p> <p>“It is therefore not clear that the oxo-biodegradable or biodegradable formulations provide sufficiently advanced rates of deterioration,” wrote researchers from the UK’s University of Plymouth.</p> <p>Professor Richard Thompson, of the International Marine Litter Research Unit claims that come bags may be responsible for polluting our oceans as people expect them to decompose.</p> <p>“This research raises a number of questions about what the public might expect when they see something labelled as biodegradable. We demonstrate here that the materials tested did not present any consistent, reliable and relevant advantage in the context of marine litter,” he said.</p>

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The $20 Bunnings item that will change how you clean your home

<p>A savvy Aussie mum has revealed her $20 secret to help remove stubborn stains effortlessly – a cleaning brush from Bunnings.</p> <p>Taking to an Australian cleaning group on Facebook, the woman said she purchased the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bunnings.com.au/rubbermaid-scrubbing-reveal-power-scrubber-brush_p4480430" target="_blank">Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber Brush</a><span> </span>from the popular hardware store and has been impressed by the results ever since.</p> <p>The small brush is made to clean built up dirt and grime two times faster than manual scrubbing, and is the perfect size to reach nooks and crannies that may otherwise be missed.</p> <p>“Oh my lord! No scrub effort just turn it on and roll it over, the dirt comes away,” she said.</p> <p>She went on to say that she was “so impressed” with the nifty tool which she claims to have cut her cleaning time by half.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 349px; height: 456px;" src="/media/7826668/1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/3db1a9be2b714ee98dd56749fe158244" /></p> <p>“Also note gumption is an abrasive cleaning agent so use with caution around your actual tiles!” she said.</p> <p>“Vinegar and bicarb also works well but requires a bit of extra runs with the brush.”</p> <p>After the initial post, many others came forward, saying they’ve also found luck with the affordable device.</p> <p>They said that they used gumption with the grout cleaner and their tiles came out “so shiny”.</p> <p>“I need that in my life,” said another.</p> <p>And the good news is, it has plenty of uses, with Katrina Diab telling<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.kidspot.com.au/" target="_blank">Kidspot</a><span> </span></em>that it works wonders on tight spaces around the home.</p> <p>“It’s amazing, I couldn’t believe it. I use it on rust, mould, dirt, anything that needs a good scrub, especially the corners of the shower,” she said.</p> <p>“Anywhere where there is water, this will clean it easily. You just hold it there; you don’t even have to move your fingers”.</p>

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Look out Kmart! BIG W’s rival homewares range you must see

<p>Money-saving budget retailer BIG W is launching its newest homewares collection with affordable prices and timeless elegance.</p> <p>The <em>Fine Balance</em> range includes six key home décor pieces, made perfect for a modern home looking for elegant, minimal touches.</p> <p>“The Fine Balance range is a perfect combination of light and dark, marrying together industrial style pieces with cool toned accessories,” a spokesperson said in a statement.</p> <p>“Designed to bring your space back to life this winter, it uses finishes and textures that elevate and complement your existing homewares.”</p> <p>If you’re looking for a way to add elegance and luxury to your home without emptying your pockets dry, then BIG W’s latest range may be just what you’re looking for.</p> <p>Starting from $19, shoppers can have a stunning lamp to keep by their bedside along with an industrial-looking side table priced at $35.</p> <p>One of the biggest standouts in the latest capsule collection release includes a mauve toned, velvety quilt set priced at $39.</p> <p>For an extra $10, customers can own a charcoal grey ottoman to add a luxury touch to their homes.</p> <p>“The contrasting tones and textures from the entire new BIG W collection is all designed to complement existing décor, making a seasonal home refresh affordable and accessible for all families,” the spokesperson said.</p> <p>Online, the collection is already causing a stir as customers get ready to purchase the items for themselves.</p> <p>“So luxe,” one user wrote.</p> <p>Another comment read: “What a stunning look!”</p> <p>The <em>Fine Balance</em> range drops in stores next Thursday and is available for pre-order online.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the <em>Fine Balance</em> range.</p>

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How to grow fresh berries and grapes

<p>The old saying ‘You are what you eat’ is proving more and more true. Scientific research increasingly supports the notion that what we ingest has value far beyond satisfying hunger.<br /> <br />The evidence is mounting that certain foods affect our bodies and directly influence our health.<br /> <br />A number of foods are so packed with vitamins, antioxidants and other beneficial substances that they have been dubbed superfoods.</p> <p>The powerful antioxidant anthocyanin, a red pigment, is found in all red, purple and blue fruit. This is why black grapes,blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are among the most antioxidant-rich superfoods. </p> <p>Blueberries actually contain so much anthocyanin that it turns the berries a deep blue.</p> <p>Antioxidants block the formation of the cell-damaging free radicals that accelerate ageing, harm arteries and induce cancerous cell changes.</p> <p>And some nutritionists go so far as to say that superfoods can even help you live longer.</p> <p>Not only do black grapes, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries pack a powerful nutritional punch, they are also easy to grow at home.</p> <p>June is a good month to get strawberry runners, blueberry plants, raspberry canes and grapevines into the ground for a spring and summer harvest.</p> <p>There are varieties available for growing in pots, which are ideal for compact gardens or small households that only need a few plants.   </p> <p><strong>Blueberries</strong></p> <p>Often referred to as brain or youth berries, blueberries are among the top superfoods. Studies show they could even slow cognitive decline.</p> <p>They contain very few kilojoules, so they’re great for people watching their weight, and they are also said to help replenish collagen in the skin. </p> <p>Native to America, blueberries were picked in the wild for centuries by Native Americans, who ate them fresh, then dried them for winter use. </p> <p>Blueberries are related to azaleas and rhododendrons and like similar growing conditions. </p> <p>The light aroma of their delicate bell-shaped, pinkish-white flowers attracts bees for pollination. </p> <p><strong>POSITION</strong> in a spot that receives at least half to a full day of sun to ensure the fruit ripens well. They can also be grown in pots. </p> <p><strong>SOIL</strong> needs to be rich in organic matter, so dig in some well-rotted compost before planting. Blueberries like an acidic soilwith a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. This can easily be checked with a pH testing kit and adding a product such as Yates Acitone helps increase soil acidity. </p> <p><strong>WATER</strong> regularly, as shallow-rooted blueberries don’t like to dry out. To prevent fungal disease and the fruit rotting, water at ground level. </p> <p><strong>FEED </strong>with a plant food formulated for azaleas or rhododendrons.</p> <p><strong>MULCH</strong> with lucerne hay or straw to keep the soil moist.  </p> <p><strong>PRUNE</strong> out weak and diseased wood to keep the centre of the bush open, then remove flowers in the first year to encourage growth. </p> <p><strong>Raspberries </strong></p> <p>A freshly picked raspberry from a homegrown bush tastes so much better than most shop-bought fruit. </p> <p>Raspberries are easy to grow and are best planted in a bed of their own. Unlike other bramble fruit, they pull free of the core when picked.</p> <p>If you have enough space in your backyard, plant raspberries in rows that run from north to south, which will ensure that both sides of the plant get sunlight. </p> <p><strong>POSITION</strong> in a sunny spot protected from strong winds. </p> <p>Raspberries prefer cool climates, but certain varieties, such as ‘Heritage’, will grow in warmer areas, provided they are planted in a position that is protected from the hot afternoon sun. </p> <p><strong>SOIL </strong>must be well drained and raised garden beds are ideal.</p> <p><strong>WATER</strong> the plants regularly, especially when the fruit is forming.</p> <p><strong>FEED</strong> with compost or old manure in spring and summer. </p> <p><strong>MULCH</strong> around the roots with lucerne hay to keep weeds at bay. </p> <p><strong>PRUNE</strong> in winter to encourage an abundance of fruit. </p> <p>Remove all the canes that held fruit during the previous season. The new canes produced are left to crop in the following season and can be tied<br />to a wire or trellis support. </p> <p>Select only strong, healthy canes and remove any weak, spindly ones. </p> <p>It is not difficult to tell which canes to prune because you simply remove the canes that were tied the previous season. </p> <p><strong>Grapes</strong></p> <p>We’ve all been told that a glass or two of red wine a day can be good for our health. That’s because black grapes, which are used to make red<br />wine, are the highest in antioxidants and most of the compounds are found in the skin.</p> <p>You still get the same health benefits from non-alcoholic red wine.</p> <p>Research has shown that if you have a stroke you could survive with more brain cells intact, if black grapes are a regular part of your diet. </p> <p>When planting grapes, the vine needs to be supported on a pergola, trellis or along a post and wire frame.</p> <p><strong>POSITION</strong> in a sunny spot. Grapes will tolerate a wide range of climatic conditions but prefer climates with cold winters and hot, dry summers.</p> <p><strong>SOIL</strong> needs to be well drained, and dig in organic matter like compost or manure before planting. </p> <p><strong>WATER</strong> newly planted vines regularly. </p> <p>Grapevines are deep rooted, so once established, they will look after themselves. In very dry areas, extra water may be needed during the summer months. </p> <p><strong>FEED</strong> vines in sandy soils with a complete plant food in spring. They don’t need much fertiliser, as the best wine grapes actually grow in poor soils. In rich soils, if growth is vigorous and fruit is produced, don’t feed grapevines. </p> <p><strong>MULCH </strong>with lucerne hay or straw, as they dislike competition from weeds.  </p> <p><strong>PRUNE </strong>back to the main branches in winter, leaving two bud stubs at regular intervals to produce next year’s crop.</p> <p><strong>Strawberries </strong></p> <p>Long known to be healthy, European researchers have found that eating strawberries can reduce harm caused by alcohol to the stomach membrane. So now there’s a scientific reason to have strawberries with champagne!</p> <p>Plant strawberries in rows in the garden, in pots or hanging baskets, or use as a groundcover in flowerbeds.   </p> <p><strong>POSITION</strong> strawberries in a sunny spot. </p> <p><strong>SOIL </strong>must be well drained with manure, well-rotted compost or blood and bone added before planting out. </p> <p>In pots, use an organic potting mix with a controlled-release fertiliser such as Miracle Gro Organic Choice Vegetable &amp; Herb MIx. </p> <p><strong>WATER </strong>strawberry plants regularly, especially when the fruit is ripening. </p> <p><strong>FEED </strong>when the fruit starts forming with Yates Dynamic Lifter Plus Fruit Food. </p> <p><strong>MULCH</strong> with straw or sugar cane so the fruit doesn’t touch the ground. This will prevent rot, keep the fruit clean, retain moisture in the soil and prevent weeds.</p> <p><em>Written by Cheryl Maddocks. Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/growing-berries-and-grapes"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Woman sues Bunnings for $500,000 after she was "crushed"

<div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Bunnings is being sued for more than half-a-million dollars after a shopper was crushed by a box of broom handles whilst being on the job.</p> <p>Robyn Handasyde was employed by a separate company that was required to restock the shelves at a Bunnings store in Southeast Melbourne when the accident happened.</p> <p>According to documents obtained by <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6983349/Woman-suing-Bunnings-half-million-dollars-crushed-box-broom-handles.html" target="_blank"><em>Daily Mail Australia</em></a>, it is claimed that Handasyde was carrying out her duties on May 5, 2010 when a fellow Bunnings worker driving a mechanical lifting machine dropped or dislodged a heavy box of broom handles on top of her.</p> <p>The box landed on Handasyde’s neck and shoulders, causing her serious injuries.</p> <p>The Victorian Workers Association (VWA) has lodged a statement of claim with the Supreme Court of Victoria arguing that Bunnings has breached its duty of care to the injured worker.</p> <p>The VWA barristers acting on behalf of Handasyde claim that she has been left with lifelong injuries, which left to her further breaking her ankle.</p> <p>The statement of claim reads:</p> <p>“The accident was caused as a result of negligence and/or breach of statutory duty of the Defendant, its servants or agents.”</p> <p>A breakdown of Handasyde’s claim says that Bunnings owes her $365,227 in lost earnings since she was injured. The majority of her claim is made up of medical bills and rehabilitation.</p> <p>However, VWA has issued a warning saying that the payout could be up to $503,937 if this goes to trial.</p> <p>In a defence letter filed by Bunnings' legal team, the company refutes nearly all of the allegations made against it.</p> <p>The company did accept that Handasyde made an injury claim on May 26, 2010.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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Good news for ALDI fans: Special Buys item back for a limited time only

<p>One of the most wildly popular Special Buys item is back and we’re not sure it will be on the shelves for long.</p> <p>ALDI’s famous Expressi Coffee Capsule Machines appeared in stores Wednesday morning, and they’re a little a different from when we saw them last.</p> <p>The item has a new “piano black” look and is part of the May 1st Special Buys collection.</p> <p>The bargain item coffee machine is a favourite among shoppers who long for a cheap alternative to a pricey brand name machine.</p> <p>Not only does it replace the expensive brands that may be out of most of our price ranges and budgets, it also replaces the expensive takeaway coffees we opt for at cafes that tend to quickly add up.</p> <p>The coffee machine is a bargain price at $90, a steep drop from the retail price of other machines that typically start around $160.</p> <p>In other good news, the item also is available online for delivery, meaning you don’t need to go in store to get your hands on one of the highly sought-after machines.</p> <p>Not only is the catalogue item a steal itself, the pods that fit in the machine are also a lowly expense at just $6 for a 16-pack, which is around 36 cents per pod.</p> <p>Traditionally, pods retail for around 80 cents per pod.</p> <p>The new sleek design of the coffee machine is not the only added feature to come out with the latest Special Buys release.</p> <p>The Expressi brand has added a brand-new extra-large milk frother to its coffee range, which can hold up to 500ml of liquid.</p> <p>For just $50, anyone at home can make a perfectly crafted café-style cup of coffee.</p> <p>However, you better get in quick for this particular item, as it is only hitting shelves for the first time so it is expected to be a hot ticket item.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see the ALDI Special Buys items up close.</p>

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The $3 ALDI hack that will leave your bathroom grout sparkling clean

<p>A cheap household product from ALDI that has allowed a woman to clean her dirty bathroom in just 20 minutes has made her day.</p> <p>The woman credited Powerforce Mould Away spray from the German retailer for transforming her grout and leaving it sparkling clean without having to vigorously scrub at the tiles on her bathroom floor.</p> <p>She posted before and after photos on Facebook, explaining how well the product worked for her.</p> <p>“I used Aldi's mould spray, let it sit for 20 minutes then scrubbed lightly with a scrubbing brush,” she explained.</p> <p>The photo showed her formerly black, dirt-filled tiled floor completely clear, which left hundreds astounded.</p> <p>Commenters were quick to praise the product, saying, “I love Mould Away, I use it on my glass and tiles in the shower. You can watch the mould disappear within minutes.</p> <p>“I use it around my taps and spray it in the plug holes. I spray it in the toilet bowl as well. The smell is pretty potent and make sure you wear cleaning clothes.”</p> <p>Others said that it looked like her tiling had been replaced.</p> <p>“Wow, the tiles have completely changed colour, that’s amazing,” one user said with another agreeing.</p> <p>“It looks like you replaced the tiles.”</p> <p>The $2.79 product is available in the household cleaning section in ALDI, but despite it’s popularity, it’s not immune to complaints.</p> <p>The first complaint about the product is the strength of the bad smell that occurs while using the product. It helps to leave the room while the product is in use.</p> <p>“I agree it's great stuff but the smell takes my breath away,” one person complained.</p> <p>Another said that the bleach used in the product strips colour from other surfaces.</p> <p>“There's nothing worse than bleaching your carpets. Whether it's over spray or transfer from your feet or the bottle,” they said.</p>

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5 subtle ways your house might be making you sick

<p>You probably know lead and asbestos are dangerous substances that can turn up in homes, but you might not know that other chemicals inside our houses, both natural and man-made, can make you sick. These substances can foul your air, water, food, and even the products you use to clean. Some symptoms of sick building syndrome can include irritated eyes, nose, throat, or skin, breathing trouble, fatigue, and confusion; building-related illness may include long-term problems like asthma and allergies. And then there are the chemicals that disrupt hormones or jumpstart cancer. Here are some things you can do that to make your house healthier and reduce your risks.</p> <p><strong>1. You have toxic dust</strong></p> <p>The dust in hard-to-reach corners or settled atop your furniture can do more than cause a sneezing fit, it can actually be toxic. Researchers from George Washington University analysed dust samples data from across the United States and found 45 potentially toxic chemicals hiding within, ten of which turned up in 90 per cent of the samples. One repeat offender was TDCIPP, a flame retardant frequently found in furniture and other household items that is thought to cause cancer; phthalates, often found in toys and vinyl flooring, as well as phenols, typically used in cleaning products, were also found in high amounts. Minimise dust by vacuuming frequently (use the proper attachments to reach into corners and under furniture) and regularly wiping down surfaces.</p> <p><strong>2. You’re addicted to air fresheners</strong></p> <p>If you’re obsessed with keeping your house smelling fresh, you could be affecting your health. Scented candles, oil diffusers, plugin fresheners, and scented sprays may contain phthalates, chemicals that may disrupt the endocrine system by interfering with hormones. “Phthalates can act as a synthetic hormone inside the body. When we have synthetic chemicals that interfere with natural processes, we start worrying about health issues,” says Lara Adler, an environmental toxins expert and certified holistic health coach. Safely freshen your home by using natural essential oils, buying flowers, or simply opening the windows.</p> <p><strong>3. Your kitchen is filled with plastic</strong></p> <p>Plastic storage containers often contain harmful chemicals like BPA, which can leach into your food when reheating or even by filling them when leftovers are still hot. Polycarbonate plastic items (hard and marketed as shatter-resistant) like reusable water bottles, drinking cups, or beverage jugs also often contain BPA, which may interfere with the body’s hormones and potentially raise the risk of developing cancer and diabetes. And don’t let “BPA-free” on the packaging fool you. “Many manufacturers simply replaced BPA with another similar chemical in the same family, which may be just as bad,” says Adler. Avoid plastic whenever possible, says Adler, and opt for glass storage containers or stainless steel water bottles.</p> <p><strong>4. You spray down your shower with bleach</strong></p> <p>Bleach will leave your bathroom tiles sparkling clean, but if mould is an issue, bleach could actually make it worse. “Bleach gets rid of mould in tile grout, but it’s very caustic and grout is permeable, so it actually eats away at grout over time and makes tiny holes for more mould to grow,” says Adler. Try using a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water to combat mould spores, be sure your bathroom has proper ventilation to cut back on the humidity mould thrives in and use a squeegee to wipe down the shower walls to get rid of excess water after bathing.</p> <p><strong>5. You have wall-to-wall carpeting</strong></p> <p>Wall-to-wall carpeting can be a big problem if you don’t take care of it. “It becomes a sink for all kinds of contaminants,” says Adler. Dust and pet dander can settle into the cushioning and cause allergic reactions. And if you don’t remove your shoes before walking through the house, you can track contaminants from the outdoors all over your carpet, like dirt, pesticides, heavy metals, you name it. “Then your kids or pets crawl on the floor and get it all over themselves,” she says. Regularly vacuum and wash carpets and rugs.</p> <p><em>Written by Alyssa Jung and Tina Donvito. This article first appeared in </em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/home-tips/23-subtle-ways-your-house-might-be-making-you-sick"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Fans go crazy over genius $2 Kmart hack to clean your oven

<p>A mum has discovered a new cleaning hack that makes cleaning your oven much easier, and it’s all thanks to Kmart.</p> <p>She posted it to the Facebook group <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/1638160709797701/" target="_blank">Kmart Mums Australia</a>, where members were thrilled by the discovery.</p> <p>Kim Cutter was cleaning her oven and used the standard commercial options she’s used before. However, it was one product in particular that was the game changer.</p> <p>She shared on the forum, saying:</p> <p>“After spending the best part of the day cleaning my oven with a commercial cleaner, the right side of the oven door was what I was left with.</p> <p>“I took to the left side of the door with a cleaning eraser from Kmart and here’s the result!”</p> <p>She accompanied her post with photos of your oven door with the grime and grease removed, leaving it sparkling clean and looking like new. </p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://homes.nine.com.au/2019/04/30/14/31/cleaning-hack-diy-mum-discovers-cleaning-eraser-for-oven" target="_blank">9Honey Homes</a> reached out to Kim Cutter to discover how she used the cleaning eraser from Kmart.</p> <p>“I only used it on the inside of the glass and used only one eraser,” Cutter explained.</p> <p>“I had to give it a good scrub but the job was done in about 10 minutes.”</p> <p>Cutter also pointed out in the group that the eraser pack of six was a bargain at $2.</p> <p>Commenters were quick to offer their suggestions for cleaning an oven.</p> <p>One user suggested razor blades.</p> <p>“Razor blades do a good job too. I love these erasers in my bathroom,” they said.</p> <p>Others were quick to point out that they use the cleaning erasers in their home for other chores as well.</p> <p>“Magic erasers are amazing for cleaning windows and shower screens too,” one user commented.</p> <p>Another pointed out that they were good for the glass in wood heaters as well.</p> <p>The post was popular in the group, with 104 comments sharing tips and tricks for cleaning the oven.</p>

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House Rules heats up: Will there be fireworks between Jamie Durie and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen?

<p>Fans of <em>House Rules</em> have one concern this season: How will extravagant international designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen deal with Aussie icon Jamie Durie joining the judging panel?</p> <p>According to Laurence, pretty well actually.</p> <p>“We know each other extremely well,” the 54-year-old told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nowtolove.com.au/reality-tv/house-rules/house-rules-laurence-llewelyn-bowen-jamie-durie-55330" target="_blank"><em>TV WEEK</em></a>. “We have an existing dynamic and we’re not frightened of taking each other on.”</p> <p>Before <em>House Rules</em>, Laurence and Jamie worked side-by-side for more than six years on Asia’s reality show <em>The Apartment</em>.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BpT7HHVnzTo/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BpT7HHVnzTo/" target="_blank">@houseruleson7 ..........one from the archives; looking just like Tony Curtis and Roger Moore in The Persuaders @jamiedurie and I have Previous TV form together.........</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/llewelynbowen/" target="_blank"> Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen</a> (@llewelynbowen) on Oct 24, 2018 at 2:45am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“A lot of people were like, ‘How is this going to work?’ because me and Jamie are very different people. But we’ve been together longer than he’s been in a relationship with a woman. I’m the longest-serving Mrs Durie!” said Laurence.</p> <p>“As Wendy [Moore] has pointed out, Jamie is Peter Pan and I’m Captain Hook. And Wendy is Wendy. There’s no reserve – he [Jamie] is very happy to tell me what he thinks of me!”</p> <p>Jamie shares the same sentiments, saying, “It’s been really fun to work with Laurence again. We all have very strong opinions and don’t always agree, but I think that’s good; it makes great TV.”</p> <p><em>House Rules</em> airs Sunday, 7pm, and Monday to Wednesday, 7:30pm, on Channel Seven.</p>

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