tracy press spring home improvement 2014

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A collection of tips and ideas to help with you Spring Home Improvements


  • 2 | spring home improvement. Friday, March 28, 2014

    2880 N. Tracy Blvd., Suite 4Tracy, CA 95376209-839-0179

    John F. Dyer, AAMSFinancial Advisor

    Make your financialfuture a priority.

    City of Tracy is hosting itsWest Side of Tracy


    Saturday, APRIL 5th 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.Questions? Call209-831-6300

    List of participating addresses and mapwill be available after March 31st.


    192 W. Larch RoadSuite DTracy, CA 95304

    Tel: (209) 832-7300Fax: (209) 832-0227

    Pest ControlBird ControlInspections


    We all know spring is a time of change. The life cycle of the Earth begins anew with the end of winter. We see birds we have not seen in months, and plants left brown and withered by the chill of winter begin to green and grow.

    The season means growth and change for us as well. Fits of spring cleaning begin to occur all over our commu-nity as an opportunity to clean out that for which we no longer have any use. (Goodbye, jeans we wore five years ago.) The warming weather holds promise, and we begin to look for the opportunity to make our homes just a bit nicer for the rest of

    the year.Whether you are a

    gardener, adding color all over your yard, someone with a plan for a new deck or patio to hold that truly epic summer party, or someone who wants to make the inside of your home new again, the Spring Home edition of the Tracy Press is what you need. Within this annual insert, you will find tips to make your garden grow, some ideas to make your big jobs safe and just a bit easier, and local businesses that will help you bring it all together.

    Enjoy your spring and enjoy Spring Home. We cant wait to see what you do with your home and neighborhood this year.

    Welcome to spring

    For lawn owners, the question is whether to aer-ate, thatch or replace.

    If you want a green, lush lawn, aeration and de-thatching are two of the factors involved. Properly cultivated lawns can keep out weeds and pests, requiring little or no application of chemi-cal pesticides.

    Aerating a lawn removes small cores of soil, allowing air, water and nutrients to penetrate the surface and reach the roots. As the roots grow deeper, you wont need to water as often.

    De-thatching goes well with aeration. The thatch is the layer of living and dead stems, roots, stolons and rhizomes between the green blades of grass and the soil surface.

    A thin layer of thatch can be beneficial to the lawn, because it helps limit weed

    germination, reduce water evaporation and protect the grass from frost damage. The purpose of de-thatching is to reduce this layer but not remove it entirely.

    Plan to de-thatch your lawn when the thickness of the thatch is more than half an inch. To determine this, remove a small square of lawn to a

    depth of about 3 inches and measure the brown layer between the grass blades and the soil surface.

    For both aeration and de-thatching of grasses, the best time is mid- to late spring or early fall. During this time, while the turf is actively growing, the grass will quickly recover from injury.

    Aerators come in manual hand-core aerators and gas-powered models. Lawns can be de-thatched using manual thatching rakes,

    thatch mower blade attach-ments and powered thatch-ing machines. While the manual types are often less expensive, theyre impracti-cal for large lawns. You can rent an automatic aerator or power thatching machine and share the service and cost with a neighbor.

    If your lawn is beyond minor repairs or is simply not what you want it to be, you may want to replace it. In cases of acute soil compaction, rampant weed problems, heavy thatch or organic matter deficiencies, it is probably more practi-cal to destroy it and start from scratch than to try to salvage an already deterio-rating lawn.

    First, though, determine why your lawn is in its cur-rent condition. Poor drain-age and poor soil quality can be corrected by reworking the soil after the existing

    The green Thumb

    Joe carrisalez

    Green lawn is two-step process

    green lawn, continued on next page

  • Spring home improvement. | 3Friday, March 28, 2014

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    grass is removed. Before reestablishing the

    lawn, you may also want to take a look at your irrigation system. If its well designed and properly installed, it can save you time and water and provide better results.

    For reference, visit

    The San Joaquin Master Gardeners also have an active website at, a quarterly newslet-ter, a Facebook page and a recently active Pinterest page full of useful gardening information and pins. We would like you to like us on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest. You can find quick links to these sites on the website.

    n The Green Thumb is a column by Tracys master gardeners. University of California-certified master gardeners are available to answer gardening questions from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 953-6112 or mgsanjoaquin@

    green lawn continued from pAGe 2


    The kitchen is perhaps the most functional room of any home, but often it doesnt feel large enough or flexible enough. And great cooking starts with a comfortable kitchen.

    While renovating your kitchen might not always be practical, there are steps you can take to improve it without breaking the bank or your kitchen walls.

    Evaluate your kitchenIts time to weed out the good, the

    bad and the ugly. When is the last time you did a thorough inventory of your kitchen gadgets? After several years without an assessment, its pos-sible youve acquired a substantial collection of electric openers, dicers, slicers and spinners.

    If all these tools help you cook, thats fabulous. If not, they are simply taking up valuable cabinet, cupboard and countertop space. Take a look at

    what you have and eliminate anything thats duplicative, broken or somehow unnecessary.

    Improve functionalityRethink your appliances. These

    days, you dont need to settle for anti-quated appliances that perform just one function.

    Innovations are making cooktops and ovens more functional and versa-tile, providing greater opportunities for spatial kitchen layout. For exam-ple, you could pair a gas cooktop with an electric oven or install electric ovens side by side.

    Flexibility is also being built into todays appliances. For example, ILVE cooktops come equipped with a one-of-a-kind removable griddle that allows for numerous food preparation options on an all-in-one cooking surface. You can steam, grill, warm and more with the included griddle eliminating the need for additional space-hogging

    appliances, such as steam ovens and warming drawers.

    Maximize storageCreative storage solutions will

    increase your work area and cabi-nets, while affording more space to move around.

    For example, an over-the-door spice rack can give you more room to prep food. A wall-mounted wine rack that holds both bottles and glasses can free up cabinet space and reduce the furniture footprint of your kitch-en. Magnetic panels on the wall can be used to store pots, pans, knives and metal utensils.

    When it comes to your kitchen, dont settle for anything less than top-notch, flexible appliances and an ideal use of the space you have. Whether youre a serious chef or a casual cook, your kitchen can benefit from key upgrades and a thorough organizational sweep.

    Improve your kitchen without remodeling

  • 4 | spring home improvement. Friday, March 28, 2014

    Does your kitchen need a fresh, new look?Take advantage of our complimentary consultation!

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    By matt CouchFor the Tracy Press

    Spring brings many th