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Old 06-05-2011, 05:49 PM
BenSr BenSr is offline
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Default Weed removal (and other home projects)

OK, so we're all moving in the beginning of July to a new place, we're we'll actually be in a house. Still renting, but there's land! This of course is a good thing, but brings up some challenges we inevitably have to face.

First off, there is poison ivy in the backyard. We're on a somewhat limited budget, but it has to go. The wife is horribly allergic to poison (fill in the blank), so I'm in charge there. This is MY project. We want to do some gardening, so I don't want to do anything that will either ruin the ground or poison the food we'll be growing. So, does anyone have some ideas for natural killers of poison ivy and other assorted unwanted plants?

I'm also ashamed to admit, even though my wife doesn't have a problem with it, if I were any more unhandy, I'd be missing one. I'm sure there's going to be some simple, day to day maintenance, as well as some fixer-upper work that will need to be done. I swear, I will spiral into a completely irreparable inferiority complex if, when the house is all nice and done up, I'm looking at "my wife's handywork." Are there any resources (books, websites, shows) out there for the extremely unhandy who need to learn extremely fast? My ego is on the line here. Along the way, I'd like to be able to teach my little guys what I learn as they get a little bigger. I'm not gonna have my 3 year old working the table saw the landlord and lady left and said we could have, but maybe when he's older (and when I learn how). But I don't want them growing up with the embarrassment of not knowing how to use their hands.

When things have settled down, I want to start up a couple dream projects along the way related to my two passions. Home recording (I know lots about music, nothing about gear) and home brewing. Any info I can get on those would be great, if any of you fellow housedads have any knowledge of that.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenSr View Post
So, does anyone have some ideas for natural killers of poison ivy and other assorted unwanted plants?
A shovel or a garden trowel. Easy peasy. That's how I got rid of my poison ivy in the back yard. No biggie. You can also buy sprays, but they are not natural. LOL.

Brewing. Ask in the brewing thread on here. Other repairs. Ask in the DIY section on here. Lots of folks would be happy to help. Any home improvement book will work for whatever you want.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:41 PM
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be careful with the poison ivy the residue left behind from the plant remains active and able to infect for 7 years. also whatever you do.. DO NOT BURN IT..and also make sure you get rid of EVERY root if you do not..it will come back..and it will come back even stronger and thicker than it was before...soo good luck with that..and like HF said DIY thread is a great help..and Lowes or Home depot has lots of books on everything.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:09 AM
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Get a bottle of concentrated Roundup and a paintbrush you'll never use for anything else. When you cut the PI near the ground, paint the concentrate on the cut step, nice and thick. The herbicide will be absorbed into the root system and will kill the rest of that plant without getting to everything else. But make sure to wear gloves and rinse your tools with a detergent. And then wash all your clothing worn when cleaning out the PI seperately or, better yet, take it out to be cleaned or trash it.

Goats eat Poison Ivy, by the way. Well, some do.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:21 AM
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Rutgers has a good document on Poison Ivy.

As for the maintenance, I'd take it easy. You're renting it. Anything you put into it is money lost. If it's painting or making things pretty, great, but renovations should be avoided. Home Depot and Lowes offer classes on basic stuff that would take the risk out of it for you. Then work on crafty things with your kids.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:43 AM
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Yup, there is no reason to get too handy on a rental. That is kind of callus but it is what it is. Ben has some good advice checking out HD and Lowes. They both have clinics for adults and for kids. Learn how to swing a hammer building bird houses and stuff for the kids...
There are a plethora (I used to use that word a lot more) of basic handy skills books, we just donated ours recently but I think it was through readers digest? Home depot? Black and Decker?!? heck any of them with lots of good pictures helps. I've found the Family Handyman magazine is a good resource if you have ~$15/year to spare. I've got a year or three back issues I still thumb through.

As to the brewing, grab a book, Palmer's is a good one, Papazian is a classic, read the first couple chapters and jump in. It is REALLY easy to get sucked into the minutia and quantitative science and lose you self into taste profiles and all that other stuff, so just remember to take a deep breath and go for it. 90% of the stuff Ben and Cubby talk about in the brewing thread I can't read. ;)
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:56 AM
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I have been asked before "How did you learn how to do or fix that?" And my answer is always "I bought a house." What the heck, learn on somebody else's house, right? Any chance you can barter any of you labor against rent? My brother got credit for mowing the lawn at his old place. I am sure your landlord would consider it. Good luck.
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:02 AM
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I should also add that a former advertising Exec. for Reader's Digest who handled the Family Handyman magazine account that TT3 mentioned earlier in NY is now a double digit year SAHD. Great guy, a Yankee fan but still a great guy, who I still hang with on occasion.
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:01 AM
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Before I did anything I would check with the landlord and see what he can do with it. That seems like something that they should take care of, being a health hazard and all.
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:12 AM
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I came across this remedy. Can't say if it works or not, but I have seen it a number of places and might be worth looking into if you don't want to use roundup.

Poison Ivy Vegetation Killer
1 cup salt
8 drops liquid detergent
1 gallon vinegar
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