Tips of the week

This area provides many tips, tricks and plenty of information for a variety of different topics. Each week are new tips and the old tips are put into our archives for future reference.

You too can participate by Sending Us your favourite tips & tricks. All tips & tricks published will be acknowledged to their originator and each week one tip will be judged and classified as the "Best Tip of the Week".

Best tip of the week: Pot Plant Pests

Place vaseline or copper spray or wire around the rim of plant pots to prevent snails and slugs from entering.
S. McMullen

General Tips

Water Wise

Help the planet and be water wise - some interesting facts and figures about average water consumption. It is also very important to regularly check for water leaks - detect leaks before they become an expensive problem.

Did You Know ... That organochlorins are banned for use as a termite chemical barrier?!?!

Feng Shui

You can also visit our permanent Feng Shui section for more tips and information.

General Tips
Allow for some open space at the front of the home so Qi can circulate freely before entering your front door.

Home Tips
To ensure your home is warm and inviting, turn on the lights in the entrance and darker rooms and include some living Qi such as fresh flowers and healthy plants (in attractive pots) to invigorate the interior.

Garden Tips
Tidy up everything, mow and trim the lawn. No-one wants to be reminded of the work involved in maintaining a garden. All rubbish, kids bikes etc to be disposed of or put out of sight.

Wind Chimes

Wind chimes break up stagnant chi and energise your house with sound vibrations.
A. Jackson

Back to Basics

You can also visit our permanent Back to Basics section for more tips and information.

Workshop Storage

Don't throw away all those old jam or vegemite jars. They come in handy around the garage or workshop. Nail or screw the lids to a beam or under a shelf then fill the jars with your nails/screws/washers etc and have a handy easy to get at storage centre.
A. Howe

Laying Turf

If you are going to lay turf make sure that you get the turf delivered on the morning of the day you are going to lay it. You do not want it lying in the sun for days on end as this can stress and damage the turf.
T. Downs

Fluffy Towels

Your towels will remain fluffy when rinsed thoroughly and hung in a cool place, not in direct sunlight to dry.
J. Wilkins

Which Paint?

Use more serviceable paints such as gloss in bathrooms and kitchens. Gloss is best for handrails, doors and windows as it is tougher than matt paint, but it does highlight defects so surface preparation is vital. It is generally not used on walls - matt paint hides defects. In kids rooms try a water based, low odour paint.
J. Dunn

Removing Candle Wax

To remove candle wax from soft furnishings, place a number of sheets of paper towel over the wax, then iron over the top. The wax melts and soaks into the paper towel ( replace paper until all wax is removed )
D. Peirce

Avoiding Snail Problems

Won't find too many snail in native plants as they do not like their tough leaves. Snails prefer soft, succulent foliage.
A. Jones

Child Safety

Bolt and padlock your garden shed and store tools, chemicals etc out of sight on high shelves or in kidproof boxes.
J. Ross

Watering Flowers

A tablespoon of mouthwash in the water provides glucose for plant food and citric for the water's pH and bactericide to slow the water turning rancid.
L. Watson


Remember to check with your local council to see if you need to submit a building application for the wall you plan to build. You must also remember that a retaining wall that is to be taller than 1 metre in height will usually require an engineers report. Avoid backfilling with heavy clays as they can exert enormous pressure on the wall when wet - your best bet will be to use gravels and sands.
M. Winters

House Sale

If you have a home that has views of the city, take advantage of the night lights by having an inspection at dusk.
A. Clark

Aromatic Plants

You can place small articles of washing over plants with aromatic foliage, allowing the articles to pick up the scent as they dry. Lavender and scented geraniums are great for this purpose.
A. Watkins

Petrol Powered Tools

If you are not using your petrol powered tools for a few weeks, empty the fuel tank so that the 2 stroke fuel does not rust and clog filters. Drain the fuel into a can, then dry out the carburettor by running the engine until it stops.
R. Collins

Insulation If you have ceiling insulation you should leave it in place when you add a second storey as it will act as a sound barrier between floors.
B. Cray

Painting Preparation

Before painting make sure that you wash down all surfaces that are to be painted with sugar soap mixed with water to remove all traces of grease and grime. This will help the paint to stick and give a better result.
G. Smith

Worn Lawn Track

If your lawn has a track worn into it turn it into a proper track. The wear shows regular use and you may as well put a proper path in.
F. Armstrong


Lightweight cladding such as corrugated iron is perfect for releasing heat quickly with the bonus that it is termite resistant. Light timbers and fibre cement sheeting are other alternatives to consider.
M. McDonald

Paving Tip

Lay all types of paving on a very slight slope away from the house so that it sheds rainwater. A slope of 20mm per metre is enough.
N. Johnston

Leftover Paint

To avoid leftover paint from going hard and lumpy place the lid on tightly and then upend the tin. The paint will form a seal around the tin. Trapped air will allow a skin to form but once upturned this will be on the bottom with the good paint at the top. Shake well before you use it. You could also put the paint into a smaller tin with virtually no air inside.
A. Wood

Lawn Watering

It is a good idea to water your lawn thoroughly twice a week, less if it has been raining, to toughen grass and to encourage a deeper root system. Also try to water in the morning or late evening as this helps to stop the sun evaporating most of the water.
W. Long

Termite Tip

Don't keep timber piled against or under the house as this attracts termites. Termites love damp, dark places so keep subfloors and ceiling cavities dry. Install vents or drainage to help keep the termites away.

Fertiliser Tip

Remember the next time you clean out your pond or aquarium, pour the water around your plants as a liquid fertiliser. It is full of nutrients that your plants will love.

House Sale Tip

Buyers are attracted to a finished product so make sure that you complete any minor work on outdoor areas before putting your home on the market.

Cleaning Timber Walls & Floors


Rose Scale Problems

Rose scale covers the stems with small white, flaky scales. Use soapy water and a soft brush to scrub off small infestations. Otherwise prune off affected stems or spray with white oil in the dormant period.

Moving Heady Objects

When moving heavy objects (eg a refrigerator) wear a pair of rubber gloves to give you a better grip.
M. Feeney

A Path with a Difference

I know that generally paths are paved or cement. I decided to lay 'Red Gum Chips' in a path formation around my small unit. I lined the ground with 'Fine Plastic' then placed down the chips - great result and no weeds creeping through.
N. Doherty


Don't throw out your dead flowers at the end of Sunflower season. Hand them in a dry place, over a tray. Once dry, break the flowers apart, collect the seeds and re-plant. The seeds should be good, especially if they come from a good crop.

Possum Trouble

Plagued with possums pinching your parsley? Place an umbrella-type food cover over your plants at night to protect them and easily remove during the day. Practical and inexpensive.
C. Garrity

Smart Savings

Use the half flush option on your toilet as much as you can. Or if you don't have the option, place a milk container full of water into the cistern (it reduces the amount of water needed to fill up).

Cover your saucepans when cooking, it heats up in one quarter of the time.

Change your showerhead to one that is rated AAA. The reduction in water usage should save you around $100 annually.

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