Tips for the home and garden

A splash of color
A clear shower curtain becomes a unique work of art when you use brightly colored paint markers or acrylic paint to stencil or apply designs directly to the surface.
Fabric-Paint Pointer

When painting on fabric, prevent fading and running during the wash cycle by using only fabric or acrylic paint. Newly painted creations should dry at least 72 hours before being washed and should always be washed separately.
Detailing Don’t

Never use dishwashing liquid for automobile cleanup and detailing. Although it removes dirt well, it also removes any protective wax from the car’s surface — and could ultimately damage the finish.
Garden Tips

• Planting on a sunny day in summer is tough, if not fatal, for new shrubs and transplants. Instead, put them in on a cloudy day or wait until the cool of evening.

• Cold air falls, so plant fruit trees in the middle of a slope —not at the bottom — to help prevent frost damage as the weather gets cooler in the fall.

• When you are changing a plant’s location — whether you’ve just brought it home from the nursery, are moving it from indoors to outdoors or setting out transplants — give it time to adjust to the changing light. Every day, expose it to increasingly longer intervals of light conditions in the new location, then move it back for the rest of the day and let it rest. Let the process take a week or so.

• Instead of bringing garden vegetables indoors to clean, rinse them outdoors as soon as you pick them — and give the remaining crop an extra drink, too.

In late June, for instance, when it is time for the first harvest of crops sowed in early May, take along a colander and a garden hose. Some baby lettuce and radishes might be ripe for picking, but other lettuce and root vegetables won’t be. With the benefit of the additional water, the veggies that need to stick it out through the summer have a smaller chance of wilting, bolting, getting bitter or hard or cracking.

Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is an advanced Master Gardener.

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