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The $4 ALDI item professional cleaners love – and promises a sparkling stove top every time

<p>A professional cleaner with over 30 years experience has revealed her favourite kitchen product, but there’s a catch as the coveted item is only available for a few weeks every year.</p> <p>The New South Wales woman was stunned after seeing the phenomenal results ALDI’s Green Action Smooth Paste Cleaner, which is similar to Gumption, gave her.</p> <p>And the best thing is, it only costs $3.99.</p> <p>“I’ve been a cleaner for over 30 years in both the commercial and domestic space,” she wrote on Facebook.</p> <p>“You know Gumption? Well this is pretty much the same but only costs $3.99 at ALDI.</p> <p>“Once a year they have it. Grab at least two or three tubs depending on how much you like cleaning.”</p> <p>She then shared two photos side-by-side for people to compare the difference, with the second photo showing a squeaky clean stove top after using the cleaner.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7828823/stove.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/67486bbfc0f3429a81129aec8ef0ab1c" /></p> <p>And according to her, the process involved very little scrubbing.</p> <p>“Wet the sponge that comes with it. Dab it around all stains and marks. While I was waiting for it to set I did the dishes,” she said.</p> <p>“Then get a soft scourer, not much elbow grease is needed, then wipe away with a clean sponge.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 404.57413249211356px;" src="/media/7828822/product.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/99ddeaf843f042779c3db6f7dc18f56a" /></p> <p>“You may need to wipe a couple of times as it can leave a small residue.”</p> <p>Many of her followers were thrilled with the new discovery, as they had never heard of the brand before.</p> <p>“I love this product … it’s brilliant. I’ll have to see whether my local ALDI has it,” wrote one person.</p> <p>“I’ve been using this for a couple of years, it’s absolutely awesome,” said another.</p> <p>A second professional cleaner then gave her input, saying ALDI’s “Green Action” products were “hard to beat”.</p> <p>“Affordable, no strong fragrance and no toxic ingredients. I clean people’s houses on a part time basis and have tried quite a few products over the last two years. This brand is one of the best,” she said.</p> <p>“If it’s a really oily or filthy mess I resort to Ajax products but due to the strong fragrance I’d rather not. This Gumption-type product may do the trick!”</p>

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How to make your hand tools look as good as new

<p>Giving timber-handled tools a bit of TLC to helps them last longer.</p> <p>Check the tools over and replace any with handles that are suffering from rot or severe cracks, especially tools that are used under pressure such as spades and mattocks. </p> <p>For those that pass the test, sand the handles to remove any rough spots and flaking finish, then coat them in boiled linseed oil to inject some moisture and prevent cracking. </p> <p>When you have oiled the handles, clean and sharpen the blades. Use a whetstone for secateurs and clippers, and a file or grinding wheel for spades, mattocks and hoes. </p> <p>Store your tools and wheelbarrow under cover over winter and they’ll be ready to go when the garden bursts into action in spring.</p> <p><strong>Using linseed oil </strong></p> <p>Linseed oil is a natural product that is extracted from flaxseed. </p> <p>It has a wide variety of uses, including as a preservative for wood and an ingredient in paints, varnishes, stains, soaps and inks.</p> <p>Despite the name, most linseed oil isn’t actually boiled. </p> <p>Instead solvents such as turps are added to speed up the drying process, just as boiling does. </p> <p>Without this addition linseed oil would take a long time to dry.</p> <p><strong>TIP:</strong> The oil is very combustible, so dry used cloths outside in a single layer, as a pile can catch fire.</p> <p><strong>Step 1: Sand the timber </strong></p> <p>Sand the timber handles with a random orbital sander and 120 grit sanding pads, then sand lightly by hand using abrasive paper to get into the areas the sander didn’t reach.</p> <p><strong>Step 2: Oil the handles</strong></p> <p>Oil the handles by dipping a cloth into a container of boiled linseed oil and wiping it onto the timber. Let the oil penetrate for a few minutes then wipe off any excess.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/renew-hand-tools"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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The great divide: How everyday Aussies are picking up Australia’s energy tab

<p>It’s official. Three different regulatory bodies have come out and said it – Australia’s energy market is anything but competitive. First it was the ACCC and IPART – now the AEMC has found that there are savings of up to $1,500 a year* for Aussies if they switch from the worst available service on offer to the best.</p> <p>Even the Prime Minister has proclaimed there are close to 2 million Aussies paying more than they need to for electricity because they’re stuck in contracts that are either too expensive or inappropriate.</p> <p>Every day at <span><a href="https://electricityandgas.com.au/over-sixty/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=oversixty&amp;utm_campaign=july">ElectricityandGas.com.au</a></span> we hear from Aussies who are fed up with forking out thousands of their hard-earned dollars for their energy bills. And every day we help them find a better deal. We know just how easy it is for people who don’t know the energy market to waste their money AND how easy it is to put a stop to it.</p> <p><strong>Here's how you do it</strong></p> <p>Step 1: Select your state below.</p> <p>Step 2: After answering a few questions, you will have the opportunity to compare quotes in your area and could be eligible for significant savings.</p> <p><span><a href="https://electricityandgas.com.au/form/stepn-tw/over-sixty/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=oversixty&amp;utm_campaign=july"><img style="width: 500px; height: 122.72727272727273px;" src="/media/7828622/july-cta-state-tiles-880.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/eb5f1c77ff5742578e4c608a06e571fa" /></a></span></p> <p>All of Australia’s energy market regulators recommend that Aussies review their bills every year. This is because energy providers have been able to change rates without informing their customers, and because cheap introductory offers are used to lure people in before they find themselves hit with a big rate hike.</p> <p>On top of all this, confusing pricing, sparse market competition and higher wholesale costs have caused electricity bills to surge by a staggering 60 per cent over the last 10 years. The result? It’s everyday Aussies, trusting that their provider won’t rip them off, who get stuck with the worst rates.</p> <p>“Market deregulation was supposed to reduce costs and make energy more affordable for everyday Aussies,” says <span><a href="https://electricityandgas.com.au/over-sixty/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=oversixty&amp;utm_campaign=july">ElectricityandGas.com.au</a></span> founder Jon Leane.</p> <p>“But the reality we have seen is incredible deals for some contrasted with complete rip-offs for others. It’s just not fair for the people stuck with the raw end of the deal.”</p> <p>Leane added, “That’s why we started <span><a href="https://electricityandgas.com.au/over-sixty/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=oversixty&amp;utm_campaign=july">ElectricityandGas.com.au</a></span> because, with prices on the rise, we think Aussies deserve the chance to find a better deal. Why should you be paying more for the exact same thing simply because you’re not a market expert?”</p> <p>You get access to no mark-up policies from energy providers across Australia, making it easy to find the best deals in your area. This service makes comparison shopping for energy easy, and best of all it’s totally cost and obligation free.</p> <p>Just last month almost 40,000 people chose <span><a href="https://electricityandgas.com.au/over-sixty/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=oversixty&amp;utm_campaign=july">ElectricityandGas.com.au</a></span> to help them compare, switch and save. Cheaper bills are only a few clicks away. Why not join them?</p> <p><strong>Here's how you do it</strong></p> <p>Step 1: Select your state below.</p> <p>Step 2: After answering a few questions, you will have the opportunity to compare quotes in your area and could be eligible for significant savings.</p> <p><span><a href="https://electricityandgas.com.au/form/stepn-tw/over-sixty/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=oversixty&amp;utm_campaign=july"><img style="width: 500px; height: 322.15909090909093px;" src="/media/7828621/july-cta-map-880.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ade6f57fdecc414ea5a48c39a13e49d9" /></a></span></p> <p><em>*The Australian Competition &amp; Consumer Commission, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, and figures from the Australian Energy Market Commission for South Australians switching from the worst to the best offer.</em></p>

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Guide to companion planting

<p>Some plants appear to have a direct effect on others growing near them. In some cases, the effect is beneficial, while in others it is detrimental.</p> <p>Roses, for example, seem to be more sweetly scented and less prone to disease when surrounded by garlic, and less troubled by aphids when lavender is grown underneath them.</p> <p>But beans do not seem to do well when grown near onions.</p> <p><strong>Mixed planting benefits</strong></p> <p>Plants of different species, when grown together, compete less with each other than those of the same species, and make it more difficult for pests and diseases to spread. For example, planting potatoes and broad beans together can increase the yields from both crops.<br />Flowers that attract pollinating insects can increase the yields from some other crops. Sweet peas and runner beans work as good companions in this way, and also look very attractive scrambling up bean poles together in flower and vegetable gardens.<br />Other winning combinations include:</p> <ul> <li>tomatoes and cabbage</li> <li>cucumbers and nasturtiums</li> <li>rosemary and sage</li> <li>French marigolds and pretty much everything</li> <li>Weed beaters</li> </ul> <p>Few weeds grow in pine woods because secretions from the trees prevent them from germinating. A mulch of pine needles on the strawberry bed will suppress weeds and may also improve the fruits’ flavour.</p> <p>Rhododendron leaves produce secretions that prevent seeds in the soil nearby from germinating, and the leaves of dandelions appear to have the same effect.</p> <p><strong>Space savers</strong></p> <p>Make good use of space in the vegetable garden by planting shallow-rooting vegetables alongside deep-rooting ones. Carrots and radishes do well together and occupy less space when planted side by side than when planted in separate rows.</p> <p><strong>Disease resistance</strong></p> <p>Some plants can increase the ability of others to resist disease:</p> <ul> <li>Chamomile is beneficial to the health and fragrance of certain plants</li> <li>Foxgloves and golden feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium ‘Aureum’) are helpful to plants nearby</li> <li>Summer savoury benefits beans</li> <li>Onions can prevent mould on strawberries </li> </ul> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/guide-companion-planting"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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The Project’s Lisa Wilkinson shares hilarious fail: "You are kidding?"

<p>While Lisa’s away, the family will play.</p> <p><em>The Project</em> co-host Lisa Wilkinson has been away travelling for the last two weeks and has left her husband, Peter FitzSimons and her daughter Billi in charge of holding down the fort.</p> <p>However, Lisa quickly discovered that things don’t run quite as smoothly as they do if mum’s around.</p> <p>She shared a hilarious mix-up on her Instagram, naming and shaming her hubby's domestic duties mishap, where he was tasked with washing two loads of dirty laundry from a camping trip – but used the wrong appliance. </p> <p>The post is a funny text exchange between Lisa and her daughter Billi, with Lisa asking whether or not the dryer is actually broken and if Billi has checked the filters.</p> <p>Billi quickly replied:</p> <p>“Dad threw washing machine powder in with the clothes because he thought it was the washing machine,” Billi replied.</p> <p>“Soo probs filter? I don’t know.”</p> <p>“You. Are. Kidding??????????” Wilkinson replied.</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/BzkKSPGlLda/" 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/BzkKSPGlLda/" target="_blank">When you’ve been away from home for almost two weeks and your daughter thinks there’s something you should probably know... Anyone got a spare washing line I can borrow? #Husbands 🙄#He’sBloodyLuckyHe’sGoodAtOtherShit</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/lisa_wilkinson/" target="_blank"> Lisa Wilkinson</a> (@lisa_wilkinson) on Jul 5, 2019 at 11:19pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Thankfully, Lisa saw the funny side, asking whether or not any of her followers had a spare washing line she could borrow.</p> <p>The post struck a chord with her female followers, with many commenting on the washing knowledge and experiences of their partners.</p> <p>“This is both hilarious and shocking @lisa_wilkinson @billifitz!” Channel 7 journalist Jodie Speers wrote.</p> <p>“It’s fitting that he was hanging out with @benfordham9 this afternoon because their domestic common sense seems to be at a similar level.”</p> <p>“Oh I hear you!! Why do they do this ??? asked my husband to put the pies in the O for oven but he put it under the G for grill and nearly burnt the house down! Smoke alarms went off! So I know the pain !!!” one follower wrote.</p> <p>Another shared an anecdote with their father trying to “help” their mother.</p> <p>“My Dad put the cutlery inc spoons into the Washing machine trying to "help Mum" in the 50s. We spent much of our childhood giggling as we ate with the bent/ twisted spoons. Love your story,!!”</p> <p>Lisa and her husband have been married for more than 26 years and have three children together, daughter Billi and sons Lois and Jake.</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/Bwo0aypFZEH/" 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/Bwo0aypFZEH/" target="_blank">Well, that was one I never could have imagined...completely blown away and humbled today to receive an Honorary Doctorate Of Letters from The University Of Wollongong, just a few kilometres from the hospital where I was born, and my grandparents’ house where I spent so many of my school holidays growing up. My beautiful grandfather, William Charles Wilkinson, who, 101 years ago tonight fought in the bloody WW1 Anzac Day battle of Villers Bretonneux in France, would have been so incredibly proud. As am I. And huge congrats to all the wonderful graduating students I met and addressed today. It was an absolute honour.👩‍🎓 @uow #UniversityOfWollongong #LestWeForget #AnzacDay #WW1 #Wollongong #TheGong</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/lisa_wilkinson/" target="_blank"> Lisa Wilkinson</a> (@lisa_wilkinson) on Apr 24, 2019 at 5:10am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote>

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How to grow potatoes

<p>Boiled, baked, fried or roasted, potatoes have been one of the world’s most important food crops for centuries.</p> <p>Originating in South America, they were introduced into Europe in the 1500s where they quickly became a staple in the diet of many cultures.</p> <p>Spuds came to Australia with the First Fleet and were a favourite backyard crop until WWII.</p> <p>A starchy tuber, potatoes are not actually high in kilojoules.</p> <p>The reason they are seen as bad for weight control is because they’re often served deep fried as chips, or with fatty toppings such as butter, cheese and sour cream.</p> <p>Cut out the fat and frying and potatoes become a healthy, high-fibre food. Rich in vitamin C, they’re also a good source of vitamin B and minerals like potassium and iron.</p> <p>Described as waxy, all-rounder or floury, pick a variety to grow based on how you like to cook them.</p> <p>Waxy varieties have less starch and a higher moisture content, so retain their shape when cooked, while floury spuds are great for baking or mashing.</p> <p><strong>A versatile veg</strong></p> <p>Easy to grow, harvest and use, spuds also give you a lot of bang for your buck with one plant producing a multitude of potatoes.</p> <p>A common variety spud sends out a shoot from each eye on a seed potato, and eachone of these shoots can produce five to 10 spuds.</p> <p>Another bonus is that you don’t need a lot of space to grow them and can even use a large planter.</p> <p>In winter seed potatoes are available to buy at nurseries and are guaranteed to be disease-free.</p> <p>Chit, or sprout, seed potatoes for planting by putting them in a cool, light spot with good ventilation and wait for shoots to develop.</p> <p><strong>Tip:</strong> Not all potatoes grow well in every climate, so ask your local nursery which varieties thrive in your area</p> <p><strong>In the garden</strong></p> <p>The ideal location to grow potatoes is a spot that grew beans or peas the year before.</p> <p>Avoid planting spuds in the same spot year after year, as this increases the risk of disease.</p> <p><strong>PREPARE THE SOIL</strong> with added organic matter, digging 25mm of well-rotted manure or compost into the top 300mm layer and adding a sprinkling of fertiliser pellets.</p> <p><strong>DIG TRENCHES </strong>250mm wide and deep, and about 600mm apart.<br /> <br /><strong>PLANT SEED POTATOES</strong> in the trenches with the shoots pointing up and cover with 100mm of soil. Keep covering shoots with soil as they appear and water them. This is called hilling up and is usually done about two or three times during the growing season.</p> <p><strong>CHECK THE CROP</strong> after about three months by digging up a plant. If the tuber skins are thin and rub off easily, the crop isn’t fully mature. Leave the tubers in the ground for a week or two more to toughen the skins. This helps protect them from scuffing and bruising during harvest and prolongs storage life.</p> <p><strong>HARVEST POTATOES</strong> in the morning while it’s still cool but don’t leave tubers exposed to the light for more than a few hours or you risk them developing green patches. Green potatoes can cause food poisoning so must be discarded. To dig potatoes out of the ground, put your garden fork at the edge of the foliage to avoid stabbing them. Lift the entire root system, one plant at a time, to minimise bruising, skinning or cutting the tubers.</p> <p><strong>Tip:</strong> Spuds are generally ready to harvest when the white potato flowers bloom, just scrape back a little soil to double check.</p> <p><strong>Planting in a bag</strong></p> <p>If you have limited outdoor space, use garden bags to grow spuds. Roll a plastic bag halfway down and fill with potting mix.</p> <p>Position three seed potatoes cover with mix and water in well. As the shoots emerge, unroll the bag and add more mix.</p> <p>Unroll the bag completely when the shoots are 150 to 300mm tall and add mix until full, covering with a layer of straw. Harvest the potatoes when the foliage yellows or dies back.<br /> <br /><strong>Tip:</strong> Buy plastic grow bags with handles and drainage holes for about $10 each from nurseries.</p> <p><strong>Pests and disease</strong></p> <p>Spuds can suffer from a range of problems, so choose resistant varieties and only grow from disease-free seed potatoes. Enrich the soil with organic material such as compost to reduce the risk of soil-borne diseases.</p> <p><strong>Potato Scab</strong></p> <p>Small bumps on the skin that turn brown and powdery are a sign of this common tuber disease. Most are superficial and can be rubbed off. It’s usually a problem in dry soil, so add organic matter and water well to increase moisture levels.</p> <p><strong>Potato wireworm</strong></p> <p>A type of beetle larvae that burrow into tubers, making tunnels that provide entry points for fungal diseases. Spray with an insecticide such as Dipel before planting and harvest early to reduce the amount of potential damage to the potatoes.</p> <p><strong>Potato leaf roll</strong></p> <p>This virus stunts plants and reduces yields, causing the younger leaves to yellow and roll inwards. To avoid, plant certified disease-free seed potatoes, and control any aphids immediately as they can spread the problem.</p> <p><em>Written by Jecca Blake. Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/growing-potatoes"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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How to grow English Spinach

<p>Famous for giving Popeye his bulging muscles, most of the iron in spinach is not easily absorbed by the body but this leafy annual is still a nutritional powerhouse.</p> <p>It’s an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. It’s also rich in B group vitamins like folate, plus protein and magnesium.</p> <p>Like many vegetables, spinach loses some of its nutritional value in cooking, so just wilt the leaves when boiling or steaming.</p> <p>Spinach grows best in a cool climate as in warm areas it is likely to bolt to seed. Grow in full to part sun in soil that is rich in nitrogen.</p> <p>Turn the soil over before planting so the taproot has a clear path for strong growth and add well-rotted compost. Good drainage is essential, so the roots don’t rot.</p> <p>Spinach is a hungry and thirsty plant, which explains its juicy, deep green leaves. Water regularly and apply a liquid fertiliser every two weeks to encourage fast growth. If the plant is slow to grow it can taste bitter.</p> <p>If you have more spinach than you can eat, trim the stalks, wash and drain the leaves then blanch them for two minutes in small batches.</p> <p>When it is cool enough to handle, squeeze out any excess moisture, pack into containers and freeze for use in soups and stews.</p> <p><strong>Tip:</strong> Cultivate spinach alongside strawberries, broad beans and cauliflower for healthier plants.</p> <p><strong>Choosing a variety</strong></p> <p><strong>Viking</strong></p> <ul> <li>Tasty dark green leaves</li> <li>Grows best in a shady spot</li> <li>Slow to bolt to seed </li> </ul> <p><strong>Bloomsdale</strong></p> <ul> <li>Heirloom variety</li> <li>Large, crinkled, rich green leaves</li> <li>Compact growing plant</li> </ul> <p><strong>Medania</strong></p> <ul> <li>Thick, rounded, dark green leaves</li> <li>Sweet and earthy flavour</li> <li>Reliable cropper</li> </ul> <p><strong>Growing Tips </strong></p> <p>A fast-cropping winter green, spinach is ready to harvest about 10 to 12 weeks after sowing.<br /> <br /><strong>SOW SEEDS</strong> into beds 100mm apart for picking leaves regularly or 200mm apart to harvest mature plants. Keep the soil moist but not wet and don’t let plants dry out or they’ll bolt to seed. Sow seeds every six weeks for a constant supply, soaking them in cold water overnight to speed up germination.</p> <p><strong>HARVEST</strong> the outside leaves with a sharp knife when the plant has at least six leaves, each about 100mm long. If the plant looks like it is about to bolt, cut it at the base just below the soil surface and remove it.</p> <p><strong>WATCH FOR</strong> downy mildew during prolonged periods of damp. Remove the worst affected leaves and spray with a mixture of 100ml full cream milk, 900ml water and a pinch of bicarb soda.</p> <p>Cucumber mosaic virus can be spread by aphids. Remove and burn stunted leaves with yellow mottling and spray aphids with white oil.</p> <p>Pick off caterpillars by hand and destroy or sprinkle with derris dust.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/growing-english-spinach"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Duchess Kate’s incredibly sweet moment with young girl

<p>The Duchess of Cambridge was all smiles as she unveiled a new play and learn garden space aimed at children to spend more time outdoors.</p> <p>The lush playing space is at Hampton Court Garden Palace’s Garden Festival and proved to be a blast for the children invited from charities to play among the garden designed by Duchess Kate.</p> <p>The <em>Back to Nature</em> space was first debuted at the Chelsea Flower Show in May where royal watchers and fans got to see Prince George, five, Princess Charlotte, four, and Prince Louis, one, play with their parents.</p> <p>The Duchess said she hoped the garden would help highlight the importance of spending time outside for children’s physical and mental wellbeing.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzYggIHls7F/" 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="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 style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzYggIHls7F/" target="_blank">A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal)</a> on Jul 1, 2019 at 10:43am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The 37-year-old looked stunning and simply chic in a Sandro Paris dress for the visit as she chatted with the young visitors.</p> <p>“These environments enable children to develop skills for life through free play, building their confidence, strength, resilience and social skills," a statement from the Duchess read.</p> <p>"In addition to the physical and mental health benefits of being in nature, spending quality time with parents and carers outside has a valuable impact on children’s early development.</p> <p>"In the garden, families can explore together and enjoy nature as a playground."</p> <p>The glowing mum-of-three explained to the excited youngster her daughter had helped collect the pinecones featured in the garden.</p> <p>“There are eight, Charlotte helped me find them,” she said.</p> <p>Throughout the event, the Duchess noticed a nervous eight-year-old Khareesha James who she then pulled aside to a den to give her a few words of encouragement.</p> <p>“I am shy and she said that’s where she goes when she’s shy – in the tent,” the girl later told reporters.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the Duchess of Cambridge at a garden picnic in London.</p>

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9 clever ways to make your kitchen safer

<p>No matter how prepared we are, there comes a point where we need to accept and work with the limitations and restraints of our bodies. The good news is, we can do this by removing any unnecessary strain required to perform everyday household tasks in our home, as well as eliminating or reducing risk factors like slippage or other hazards.</p> <p>If you find it difficult to manage regular day-to-day functions in the kitchen, you can use the following strategies to make using the hub of the home both a safer and more practical environment. When the kitchen is easier and safer to use, everyone can benefit from cooking healthy home-cooked meals like this <a href="https://www.hellofresh.com.au/recipes/mushroom-risotto-579eff2477d68df04d8b4568">delicious mushroom risotto</a>.</p> <p>Here are 9 ways you can make the kitchen safer and easier to use.</p> <p><strong>1. Install easy-hold handles on doors and cabinets</strong></p> <p>As we age and become more fragile, what may seem like minor falls and bumps can result in injury or even death for some people. A fall that causes someone to seriously injure themselves often results from them failing to hold onto a surface they’ve leveraged their weight against.</p> <p>A common-sense approach to reduce the risk of this happening in the kitchen is to invest in easy-hold handles that can easily replace existing handles. These easy-hold handles are designed to be non-slip so anyone with wet hands can still maintain a strong grip.</p> <p><strong>2. Adjust the height of the dishwasher</strong></p> <p>If you would like to continue using and <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/home-garden/the-ultimate-guide-to-stacking-your-dishwasher">stacking the dishwasher</a>, then it’s a smart idea to raise the height of it so there’s no need to bend as much. It’s no secret that back problems are a common issue as we age, so this strategy can do you a lot of good.</p> <p><strong>3. Remove carpets and rugs</strong></p> <p>While carpets and rugs can look and function beautifully as furnishings in your home, they present a significant hazard to anyone in wheelchairs or who have difficulty walking. We can often slip on loose or soft surfaces, and wheelchairs can get tangled in the frayed textiles.</p> <p><strong>4. Install brighter light bulbs</strong></p> <p>Visibility is another area that’s important for safety in a kitchen, particularly as our eyesight naturally deteriorates over our lifetime. The utility of brighter lights is pretty obvious; it will mean having an easier time seeing what we’re doing and are less likely to injure ourselves with a misstep.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7828022/hello-fresh-body.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/9b78d95992f449b6a5a10e9ba6fb7df1" /></p> <p><strong>5. Invest in appliances that can turn themselves off automatically</strong></p> <p>Ever feel like you may have forgotten to switch off the stove or some other appliance and you might burn the house down? Even things like kitchen sink faucets can pose a significant risk if left running, as they could wet the floor and create a trip hazard.</p> <p>This is why it’s a good idea to invest in <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/food-wine/the-13-kmart-kitchen-item-shoppers-are-loving">new kitchen items</a> that are able to automatically switch themselves off after they detect a period of inactivity. These features are also great because they help reduce power and water wastage, reducing utility bills.</p> <p><strong>6. Adjust the height of countertops</strong></p> <p>Just like the dishwasher, countertops can be raised or lowered to a more convenient height for anyone that may require the use of a wheelchair or need to be seated whilst performing certain tasks in a kitchen. It can also be useful to modify the edges of the countertops with distinct colours so that anyone with poor vision can distinguish certain areas of the kitchen.</p> <p><strong>7. Install anti-slip flooring</strong></p> <p>Marble or tiled flooring is popular in many kitchens for its aesthetic quality, but it actually presents a big slip risk hazard. When these slick surfaces get wet, they become a major accident waiting to happen for anyone with unsure footing.</p> <p><strong>8. Install extra railings and hand bars</strong></p> <p>While they aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing home inclusions, assistive bars and <a href="https://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Temporary-Handrail-System">handrail systems</a> have saved lives and shouldn’t be overlooked. Basically, you can install extra surfaces that you can grip around the kitchen so that you can more easily and confidently navigate the space.</p> <p><strong>9. De-clutter the kitchen</strong></p> <p>Removing unnecessary things from the kitchen can make it safer to use, as there will simply be less opportunities for something to go wrong. The biggest benefit is that you create more physical space to move around in, meaning you are less likely to bump into something.</p> <p>Built-in appliances, such as a microwave that’s built into a cabinet nook, are great as they free up some surface space on the countertops. All of this means less hazards are present and there’s less risk of something going wrong.</p>

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5 facts about sunflowers

<p>The subject of famous poetry and artwork, sunflowers are a beautiful and much adored plant. Their striking looks and vibrant colouring have made them a popular choice in gardens across the globe.</p> <p>In this article we pay tribute to the sunflower by listing 5 facts you may not have already known. </p> <p><strong>1. Sow and grow</strong></p> <p>Sunflowers are easy plants to grow. Just pop a seed in the ground, water it, then a green sprout will appear in about 14 days. To boost their height, give them a liquid feed every 2-3 weeks. </p> <p><strong>2. Tasty leaves</strong></p> <p>Each sunflower leaf grows up the stem at about a 90° angle from the one below it. The leaves are actually edible and work well in salads and stir-fries or steamed with the tough centre vein cut out and removed. </p> <p><strong>3. High and mighty</strong></p> <p>According to the Guinness World Records, the tallest sunflower in the world was grown in Germany in 2012 and reached more than 8m high. The grower broke his own record for the tallest sunflower set in 2009.</p> <p><strong>4. Bonus blooms</strong></p> <p>One sunflower head consists of more than 1000 individual blooms called disc flowers, and what we think of as petals are called ray flowers. Wild plants have multiple heads while cultivated sunflowers have one.</p> <p><strong>5. Seed and feed</strong></p> <p>There are two types of commercial sunflower seeds. The small black seed used in bird feed is also processed into oil, while the second type is a larger non-oil seed with black and white stripes that is used in food.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/5-facts-about-sunflowers"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Top 4 bedroom design trends for 2019

<p><span>Wondering how other Australians are decorating their bedrooms in 2019? Check out this list of the top 4 bedroom design trends this year.</span></p> <p><span><strong>1.</strong> </span><strong><span>Extreme minimalism</span></strong></p> <p><span>The extreme minimalism trend is different than most others you’ll find on home decorating trend lists such as this one. Keeping up with most trends requires you to buy whatever trendy item is being recommended. That isn’t the case here – in fact, it’s the exact opposite.</span></p> <p><span>To be au courant with this trend, you’ve got to take stock of the items in your bedroom, and get rid of everything except the utter necessities and the things that bring you delight.</span></p> <p><span>These are insights that a prominent organizing expert named Marie Kondo has been teaching to her legions of followers worldwide. Marie recently rose to prominence because her ideas about <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/home-garden/konmari-cleaning-method-explained">decluttering and organizing</a> have been helpful to consumers as they seek to design the homes and lives they really want.</span></p> <p><span>In response to Marie’s advice, countless homeowners are getting rid of possessions that do not bring them joy. Extreme minimalism has once again become a thing – and it’s an especially big thing in the bedroom closet.</span></p> <p><span>Have you ever stopped to consider which of the things in your bedroom bring you joy? If there are clothes in your closet or items stuffed in your drawers that make you feel fat, ugly or horrid in any way, donate them and get them out of your room.</span></p> <p><strong>2. </strong><strong><span>Sustainable fabrics</span></strong></p> <p><span>Simple bamboo, organic cotton and linen are the fabrics adorning many of the trendiest bedrooms in Australia right now. Earthy, nature-inspired colours are popular, but they aren’t your only choices. These fabrics are also being styled with a moody color palette filled with charcoal greys, sea greens and navy blues. Check out <a href="https://www.ecosa.com.au/bamboo-bedding-sets">Ecosa’s bamboo bedding sets</a> for an example of a bedroom colour palette that is spot on for 2019.</span></p> <p><strong><span>3. </span></strong><strong><span>Macrame, weaving and other richly textured textiles</span></strong></p> <p><span>Handmade textile art was popular in the 1970s, and it has made a comeback in recent years. Prominent Australian textile artists such as <a href="https://www.macrameart.com.au/">Angie Duncan</a> and <a href="http://www.melissacarey.com.au/">Melissa Carey</a> are working to popularise textile art forms such as macrame and weaving once again.</span></p> <p><span>Elaborate macrame wall hangings and hand woven tapestries are the up-and-coming trendy wall art pieces right now. Many of these pieces incorporate natural elements such as tree branches. Some homeowners are hanging these over the bed in place of a headboard. Others are incorporating smaller pieces into the bedroom décor in innovative ways -- sometimes as valances over a window or curtains hanging to conceal the closet instead of a closet door.</span></p> <p><span>Other interesting textured textiles such as tassels, pintucks and thick, hefty knitted blankets are also trending up right now.</span></p> <p><span><strong>4.</strong> </span><strong><span>Houseplants in the bedroom</span></strong></p> <p><span><a href="https://www.architectureanddesign.com.au/getmedia/2d832853-778b-41dd-af42-f93f7488e21b/14-Patterns-of-Biophilic-Design-Terrapin-2014e_1.aspx">“Biophilic design”</a> is a hot new buzzword phrase that refers to the phenomenon of incorporating nature and natural elements into the built environment. There are people who are getting really elaborate with creating these nature-inspired spaces -- but really, it can be as simple as bringing some humble houseplants inside. Bonus points if you hang your houseplants in macrame plant hangers near your bedroom windows.</span></p> <p><span>These are 4 of the most prominent bedroom design trends we’ve observed thus far in 2019. If you’re thinking of updating your bedroom soon, consider incorporating any of these trendy elements into your bedroom decor.</span></p>

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The city trying to “shame residents” with see-through recycling bins

<p>An Australian council has introduced a new proposal for see-through recycling bins to be rolled out, to help enforce better waste practices on residents.</p> <p>Councillors in Adelaide believe transparent bins would make those doing the wrong thing feel “rubbish shame”, as well as making it simpler for those who rummage through bins to find empty cans to exchange at bottle depots, according to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/" target="_blank">Adelaide Now</a>.</em></p> <p>Adelaide City Councillor Robert Simms expects the see-through bins to keep Adelaide at the top of the leader board when it comes to recycling.</p> <p>In 1977, South Australia was the first state in the country to implement a container deposit scheme – an initiative that has slowly made its way around the nation.</p> <p>NT adopted it in 2012, NSW in 2017 and the ACT and QLD in 2018. WA and Tasmania are set to introduce their own program which is set to roll out in 2020 and 2022.</p> <p>“If we want to encourage behavioural change, I think this is something that will really encourage people to do the right thing … and we have a reputation as a clean, green city,” Mr Simms told<span> </span><em>Adelaide Now</em>. “In a way, it is kind of naming and shaming.”</p> <p>His proposition has been backed by Adelaide City councillor Alex Hyde, who said, “I agree with Rob’s idea, and we should rubbish shame people.”</p>

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Radio star sells luxury Sydney home for $2.4 million to famous chef

<p>Radio personality Michael “Wippa” Wipfli and his wife Lisa have sold their beautiful, quaint property in Queens Park, Sydney, to move up the hill to Vaucluse.</p> <p>The Nova radio host, who works alongside his partner in crime Fitzy on their popular breakfast show, officially sold the property for a staggering $2.4 million.</p> <p>The Queens Park home has reportedly been sold to famous chef Nigel Ward, according to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.domain.com.au/news/michael-wippa-wipfli-scores-2-4m-queens-park-sale-to-chef-nigel-ward-849739/" target="_blank">Domain</a>.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/ByUpHmDAWvZ/" 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="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 style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/ByUpHmDAWvZ/" target="_blank">A post shared by Fitzy &amp; Wippa on Nova (@fitzyandwippa)</a> on Jun 5, 2019 at 2:10am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The home both Wippa and his wife Lisa have owned since 2014 is an architect-designed property which boasts four bedrooms, two bathrooms and was originally purchased for $1.87 million.</p> <p>The Queens Park house went on the market last month for $2.5 million, however, dropped to $2.3 million after it struggled to attract a buyer.</p> <p>The large deck is a standout which the couple spent time remodelling to perfection. Close by, a Caesarstone kitchen with island bench comes in partnership with ultra-modern appliances that would make anyone feel like a professional chef when cooking.</p> <p>Located in the Eastern Suburbs, the pad was built in the 1920s and in addition to a spacious, comfortable bottom floor, the owner added a second storey to the home to create even more space and luxury feel.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see inside the former home of Wippa.</p>

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As good as new! Bunnings expert reveals 3-step process "for sparkling clean grout"

<p>A Bunnings expert has revealed the exact method to use when wanting to make the grout in your bathroom look brand new.</p> <p>Bunnings Warehouse team member Cath said while the process isn’t complicated, it does require three steps and the right products.</p> <p>“Nobody likes cleaning the bathroom floor, let’s face it. It’s one of those jobs you’ve got to do all the time,” said Cath in a video uploaded to YouTube.</p> <p>The three-step process “for sparkling clean grout” requires sweeping, mopping, grout cleaner and a bit of “elbow grease”.</p> <p>Starting off, Cath had a range of items with her to help make the job easier.</p> <p>The things you will need are a mop and bucket, rubber gloves, Mop &amp; Glo (a floor cleaner found at Bunnings for $9.43) and a grout cleaning kit which comes with a brush and a chemical product (also from Bunnings for $20).</p> <p>Other items include a dust mask and a grout pen ($16 from Bunnings).</p> <p>Step one ensured there was no dirt or debris on the floor, so Cath swept the entire area until it was free from dust.</p> <p>She then wiped the tiles with the floor cleaner to help break down dirt that was deeply rooted into the grout.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Y6p5HF8w8jU"></iframe></div> <p>According to Cath’s suggestion, only pour a small amount of mopping solution into the bucket that contains hot water, and when looking for the type of mop to help remove stains, use one that comes with a built-in scourer.</p> <p>Next, apply grout cleaner to the tiles. Be sure to spot check before going in as bleach can cause damage to some surfaces.</p> <p>Once you have the all clear, spray the cleaner directly onto the grout letting it soak for at least a minute.</p> <p>Then, once you can visibly see the grout cleaner working its magic, use a scrubbing brush to not only speed up the process, but also to get a deeper clean.</p> <p>Cath also recommends wearing a face mask throughout the entire process as the cleaning products can be “fumey and you don’t want to be breathing in all that stuff”.</p> <p>You may need to repeat the steps if your tiles are extra dirty.</p> <p>Once you’re done, wipe off any excess product on a towel and admire your handy work.</p> <p>“A bit of grout cleaner, a fair bit of elbow grease and there you go, a nice sparkling floor.”</p>

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How to treat dog spots on grass

<p>Round patches on the lawn about 100mm wide with dead grass in the middle and dark green at the edges are called dog spots.</p> <p>The patches occur when a dog wees in the same area a number of times and the high concentration of acids, salts and nitrogen in the urine burns the grass roots.</p> <p>Dig out the dead spots and replant the affected area by adding topsoil and grass seed to match the surrounding area. </p> <p>Prevent spots by giving the dog plenty of water to make its urine less concentrated and soak its favourite areas of lawn to flush salts out of the root zone before they kill the grass. </p> <p>Train the pet to urinate in a special spot and cover the area with mulch. </p> <p><strong>Step 1: Hose the spot</strong></p> <p>Hose the spot until the grass is soaking to dilute the urine acids and salts and wash them deeper into the soil, away from the grass roots.</p> <p><strong>Step 2: Scrape dead grass</strong></p> <p>Scrape up the dead grass with a hand rake to remove it then rough up the area to loosen the soil to 20mm deep as seeds germinate better in soft soil.</p> <p><strong>Step 3: Sprinkle topsoil</strong></p> <p>Sprinkle topsoil in a thin layer then add an even amount of grass seed, covering with another thin layer of soil. Keep the area moist until the new grass is about 50mm high</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/treat-dog-spots-grass"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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