Three Tips for Making This Year’s Garden Your Best Ever

spring-planting-gardening-tools-garage-storageNow that the temperatures are steadily rising, your thoughts have likely turned to gardening. The Farmer’s Almanac predicts our last date of spring frost for Toronto as May 9th, but how can you be sure your soil is ready to be worked? Take a handful of soil and squeeze. If the soil forms a ball, it’s not quite ready. When the soil crumbles in your hand, it’s go time for gardening. Though you’re probably eager to start planting, to get the best results you must first prep the soil.

Feed and Prep Soil to Maximize Results

Building a rock-solid home begins with laying a solid foundation. Likewise, growing healthy, vibrant plants begins with healthy soil. Dry, sandy or compacted soil isn’t conducive to producing healthy plants. Amend problematic soil by introducing nutrient-rich, organic matter into it at the start of each growing season.

Spread a one to three-inch layer of dark, earthy, finished compost on flower beds and gardens. When used in a vegetable garden, use organic compost or a variety designated for use with edible plants. Work compost into the top six to twelve inches of soil using a shovel, rake or rototiller one to two weeks before planting. Compost adds nutrients to soil and encourages the presence of garden-friendly earth worms.

Compost improves the hardest, toughest soil, creating a nutrient-rich environment where flowers and vegetation can thrive. Strong, healthy plants, grown in a nutrient-rich soil, tend to be more naturally resistant to bugs and diseases.

Deciding What to Plant and Where

You’ve selected the perfect space to plant your garden. Only, it might not be so perfect. For instance, most flowering annuals won’t fare well in the shade. Other plants don’t do well with extended hours of sunlight. Carefully select plants that are optimal for your allocated space.

If the area receives less than six hours of daylight each day, plant vegetation that thrives in shade. Begonias, impatiens, elephant ears, black-eyed Susans and fuchsia do well in shade. If the area gets partial shade, pansies, petunias and snapdragons may be a good choice.Flower beds that receive more than six hours of sunlight daily are ideal for flowering annuals like colourful petunias, geraniums, marigolds, carnations, sunshine impatiens or verbena.

Your annuals will make the most impact if planted in groups of three or more. Each group of flowers should overlap the next to create a powerful punch of colour.

Sunlight should also dictate the makeup and layout of your vegetable garden. Kale, herbs, spinach and scallions can do well with as little as three hours of sunlight each day. Peas, beans and root vegetable require close to five hours of daily sunlight.

While tending to your flowers and garden, don’t forget the perennials. If they aren’t looking as lively and vivacious as they once did, it may be because they’ve overgrown the available space. Divide the plants, relocating some of them. The additional room will allow the plants left to flourish. The rest can be used in another part of your yard. If you don’t have room to plant them elsewhere, consider gifting them.

Once planting is done, give plants a weekly boost by feeding them with a calcium-rich eggshell tea. To create the eggshell tea, store eggshells in a container of water. Allow them to steep for a few days or weeks and continue adding more shells. Water plants with one cup of the eggshell mixture combined with a gallon of water. This calcium-rich mixture will strengthen plants and improve production.

Create a Gardening Space in the Garage

There is no shortage of tools and supplies required to keep your lawn and garden looking their best. Shovels, rakes, hoes, trimmers, hedgers, garden gloves, compost, grass seed and fertilizer can take over your garage during gardening season. Searching for tools amid chaos is frustrating.

slatwall - wall organizers, wood grain, hooks, garden toolsWhen a task becomes frustrating, it’s human nature to avoid it. So make time at the start of the season to take inventory of your gardening tools and supplies and organize them. If there isn’t enough room in the garage for all of your garden tools, consider installing a wall organization or shelving system to create dedicated storage space for each item. A purchased or custom-built garden bench will provide space for repotting plants. However, a repurposed table will achieve the same end.

Once your garden tools are neat and organized, the soil has been fed and you’ve chosen the right plants for your yard, you’re on the way to making this year’s garden your best yet.

Strong Racks Shelving – Maximize Garage Storage

strong-racks-overhead-wall-storageWhether your garage is big or small, it probably doesn’t have nearly enough storage space to accommodate your family’s lifestyles. Bikes, sporting goods, lawn care equipment and gardening tools take up lots of space. Then there are bulky items like tires, kayaks and roof equipment racks that consume as much space as a small vehicle. So how can you possibly fit all of these items in your garage and still have space to park your vehicle?

Last time we discussed the importance of optimizing available storage space, as one of three steps to prepare your garage for the change of season. Now we’ll consider how sturdy, steel shelving can be used to maximize the storage space in your garage.

Boost Garage Storage with Strong Racks Steel Shelving

Inside your home there are designated spaces for storing items. The closets, laundry room and pantry have racks, shelving and perhaps even cabinets. However, the typical garage consists of three bare walls. Without distinct storage space, it’s no wonder families often resort to using the entire garage as a dumping ground. The key to eliminating clutter in the garage is creating clearly defined storage space for each item. Shelving creates much-needed storage space while keeping items clearly visible.

There are a variety of shelving options available, from freestanding shelving units to garage wall organization systems with movable shelves that lock into place. Another option is sturdy, steel shelving, which does not require a paneled wall system for installation. Strong Racks ceiling shelves provide sturdy overhead storage. This reserves premium floor space, allowing room to park your vehicle inside the garage.

Strong Racks wall shelving provides a sturdy space for storing boxes, cans and other items that are solid underneath. Available accessories, like ladder and bike hooks, double your storage by creating space in front of the shelf to hang these items.

Make Use of “Unusable” Space

Overhead storage racks convert “unusable” space into functional storage space; perfect for seasonal and rarely used items. With the highest weight capacity in the industry, Strong Racks provide safe, convenient overhead storage. Available in chrome or white, these shelving units are highly-configurable. The height of the shelves can be adjusted to accommodate tall items.

strong-racks-automated-ceiling-overhead-storageStoring heavy items overhead can be challenging for some, as it requires ascending and descending a ladder with heavy items in tow. However, a motorized lift system allows the rack to be lowered with the touch of a button. Load the rack with heavy tools and boxes or bulky items. Then simply push the button to hoist the shelf back into place overhead.Push button, motorized overhead storage is an ideal solution for storing large, bulky items like kayaks, canoes and roof rack equipment carriers.

The Key Advantages of the Strong Racks Steel Shelving System

Strong Racks provides an excellent system for getting items off of your garage floor by utilizing what is normally considered unusable space. While other overhead shelving system are available, Strong Racks shelving is superior in these key areas:

Strength:

  • The Strong Racks mounting rack is the thickest and strongest in the industry. It is made of strong, 11-gauge steel, not the low-cost angle iron, or steel straps used by some competitors.
  • The square tubes used to hang the racks are made of strong steel.
  • Each overhead rack holds up to 750 pounds. Wall mounted overhead racks can accommodate up to 1,000 pounds.

Safety:

  • Each 4’x8’ section is secured to four ceiling trusses with sixteen, three-inch screws. This distributes the weight over a wider area of the ceiling, ensuring that each rack remains firmly and safely attached.
  • Sixteen bolts are used to secure the grid system to the rails, for added strength and safety.
  • The exclusive, patented rail brackets used to secure shelving allows the shelf to be secured to a wall, for additional safety and increased weight capacity.
  • A two-inch safety lip surrounds each shelving unit to prevent items from inadvertently being shoved off of shelves.

Quality:

  • Strong Racks are backed by a lifetime guarantee, when professionally installed.
  • The durable ceiling assembly uses thirteen pieces of hardware to attach the shelving to the ceiling.
  • The quality construction and installation of each rack eliminates movement in installed shelves.

Flexibility:

  • Strong Racks come in depths of 2, 3 and 4-feet, to accommodate items of all sizes.
  • Multiple Strong Racks can be mounted in a variety of configurations, creating up to 99 different platforms sizes, to easily accommodate your specific storage needs.
  • Two square steel tubes are used per mounting rack, allowing the height of each rack to be adjusted between 27.5 and 41.5 inches.
  • The Super Drop system adjusts platform height between 40 and 96 inches from the ceiling, to allow racks to be hung at an accessible height, even in garages with high ceilings.

strong-racks-wall-shelvesStrong Racks can be purchased for DIY installation, or be installed by a garage renovation specialist. However, these racks are made to hold a considerable amount of weight overhead. It is crucial that they are installed correctly to ensure your family’s safety.Also, when installed professionally, Strong Racks come with a lifetime guarantee.

Garages haven’t changed much in the past few decades, but our lifestyles have. Homeowners want a garage that will accommodate their active lifestyles and provide space to park the cars. The installation of Strong Racks steel shelving is a simple way to transform your garage from a chaotic dumping ground to an organized space with designated spots to store all of the things you need. Are you ready to transform your garage with Strong Racks overhead or motorized shelving? Request your free consultation today.

Would you prefer to keep items in your garage stored out-of-sight, rather than on-display on shelves? Next time we’ll discuss how to keep your clutter under wraps, without breaking the bank, by installing laminate cabinetry.

Prepare Your Garage Now for the Change of Season

garage-storage-custom-overhead-platform-toy-storage-slatwall-camlock-hooks-bicycle-helmets-golf-clubs-stairs-bannister-central-vacuum-garden-toolsAfter months of cold weather, and still more on the horizon, we begin to look forward to the months ahead, when the temperature will slowly begin to climb. Perhaps your family is itching for warmer weather, ready to ditch heavy parkas and boots. However, your garage may not be quite ready for the coming change of season.

During the winter, the last thing you want to do is schlep out to the garage to carefully sort and put things away. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for the garage to become the family dumping ground during the cold, winter months. If your garage is piled high with bikes, tools, outdoor toys, gardening tools, lawn care equipment, off-season tires and sporting goods, you’re probably unable to park all of your intended vehicles inside of your garage. Additionally, finding the items you need in a disorganized garage can be extremely frustrating.

The impending arrival of spring signals the start of a variety of activities like softball, soccer, golf and gardening. All of these activities require specialized equipment which is likely buried in your garage. To avoid the annoyance and frustration of misplaced sporting equipment, gardening tools and lawn care equipment this spring, take the following three steps to get your garage ready for the change of season.

Step One: Out with the Old

The primary reason it’s so difficult to find anything in the garage is because the things we want and need are buried beneath items for which we no longer have a need. Think about the items currently stored in your garage. Has the garage become the designated dumping ground for broken toys, furniture and tools? Is the garage littered with bikes, wagons and sports equipment the kids have outgrown? Are duplicates tools stealing valuable storage space? If so, prepping your garage for spring begins with a thorough purge.

Sort through all of the items stored inside your garage. Be ruthless when it comes to cutting the clutter.

  • Throw out items that are damaged or broken. Perhaps you stored them in the garage with the intention of fixing them. However, if those items haven’t been repaired in a year or two, the likelihood that they ever will be is quite slim.
  • Donate or sell outdated items, those you haven’t used in years and items you’ve never used can either be donated to a local charity or sold. However, if you decide to sell unused items, set a firm deadline for getting rid of them. Otherwise, those items might still be taking up space in your garage three years from now.
  • Group similar items and look for duplicate tools and sporting equipment. Once you identify duplicates, decide which item you’ll keep and donate or discard the unnecessary items.

Purging the garage may seem like a daunting task for one person. Make the project fun by enlisting the help of family or friends. Turn on your favorite music. Once the job is completed, reward yourself with a night out or a fun activity the entire family will enjoy.

Step Two: Create Dedicated Zones

If weather permits, it’s helpful to remove all items from the garage in order to clearly see the storage space available. This will enable you to determine how to best use the space in your garage. Before you create the layout for your new, clutter-free garage, think about how you use the space. What tasks are performed in your garage? What kinds of items are stored there?

Create distinct zones for sports equipment, lawn care equipment, vehicle care accessories and gardening tools. Put away out-of-season items, like sleds and snow shovels, to make room for items you’ll need for spring. Then decide on the ideal location for each zone: back wall, sidewall or near the garage door.

Step Three: Optimize Available Storage Space

There’s a limited amount of space in a garage. Yet, the volume of things we own and need to store continues to grow. How can you find a dedicated space to store all of your family’s things? Maximize the storage space in your garage by incorporating shelving, cabinetry, baskets, hooks and stackable storage containers.

A garage wall organization system, like slatwall, is designed to maximize storage space. The complementary baskets, hooks and shelves slide and lock into place easily, creating a neat, organized system for storing items along the wall, rather than stacking them along the perimeter of the floor. Once the space has been optimized, each item can be stored in its designated space.

Shelving can be an essential component of an organized garage, particularly for those who prefer items stored where items can be easily seen and retrieved. Next time we’ll talk about how to maximize the storage space in your garage by using steel racks.

If organizing your garage feels like an overwhelming job to take on yourself, check out some of our amazing garage transformations, then contact Nuvo Garage to request your free consultation.

Five Tips for Applying Feng Shui in Your Garage

yin-yang-feng-shui-garage-interior-design-organization-storage-solutions-nuvo-garageWith the Chinese New Year approaching, many feng shui practitioners are busy cleaning and preparing their homes to get rid of bad chi (energy) and usher in good luck before the New Year arrives.

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese art and science that recognizes the impact our environment, and the objects in it, can have upon us. Often regarded the art of placement, feng shui is literally translated “wind and water.”  Feng shui strives to balance the five elements—wood, water, fire, earth and metal–and the energy (chi) that flows from all things—living and inanimate.

The goal of feng shui is to create harmonious environments that reflect one’s internal environment by improving the flow of chi throughout the space. Optimizing the flow of chi in one’s home or office can enhance happiness and one’s financial and romantic life. This is accomplished through the use of colour and the mindful placement of objects in one’s living and work spaces.

While you may be incorporating feng shui into your home, have you ever considered incorporating the principles of feng shui into your garage? This ancient art of placement can be used to create a garage that welcomes positive energy into your home, rather than blocking it. Below are five tips for using feng shui to enhance the flow of chi in your garage.

Eliminate clutter.

Have you ever tried to work in a cluttered space and found it difficult to function or think clearly? That’s because clutter represents stagnant energy, which can zap your personal energy. This is true of clutter whether it be in an office, bedroom or your garage. Eliminate energy-draining garage clutter by ridding the space of items that no longer serve a purpose.

Objects that are outdated, non-functional, redundant or rarely used harbour stalled energy and have a negative impact on your energy. Toss, repurpose or donate such items stored in your garage. It can be difficult to let go of items to which we have an emotional attachment. Knowing that donated items will benefit those less fortunate can be a powerful motivator to finally release unneeded items.

Every item must have a purpose and a designated place.

Order is an essential component of feng shui. However, it’s difficult to create order in your garage without a system for organizing your space. A garage renovation specialist can work with you to develop a garage design suited to the needs of your family. Wall organization systems that use corresponding shelves, hooks and baskets create a designated space for everything in your garage from bicycles and sporting equipment to gardening tools. Lockable storage cabinets provide a safe, concealed space to store tools, household chemicals and other items.

Park your car inside the garage—its designated space.

People often treat their garages as a sort of “junk space.” In reality, the garage is the designated space for storing your car. Keep this in mind as you clean and de-clutter your garage and then assign each remaining item a designated space. If carving out space in the garage to park your car(s) feels impossible, consult with a garage renovation specialist who will design a plan for you.

Finish the walls and/or floor with an energy-enhancing colour.

Garages tend to be a dark, uninviting spaces, but they don’t have to be. The walls are often unfinished, and the floor of an older garage may be stained, cracked or otherwise compromised. Give your garage a cheerful facelift by incorporating colour. Feng shui recognizes the strong impact colour can have on mood and physical and emotional well-being. Incorporate relevant colours connected with the five elements of the natural world, listed earlier.

Colour can be incorporated into the space through wall paint, fabric—like a colourful kite or flag—or by finishing the floor with an epoxy or polyaspartic floor coating, designed for garage and basement floors. Modular interlocking floor tiles offer a less permanent way to introduce colour into the garage floor. All three products come in a range of attractive colours. The floor coatings can be customised to achieve your desired colour.

Make your garage an uplifting and inspiring space.

If you park in the garage, it is the last thing you see when departing home and the first thing you see upon your return. It’s important to make it a space that uplifts and inspires. Post a picture or painting that stirs the soul, a motivating personal affirmation or a moving quote on the garage wall, so you’ll see it when you enter or exit the garage

Make sure to tackle all of your home and garage cleaning projects prior to New Year’s Day, as it’s considered bad luck to clean during the first few days of the New Year. Once that period has passed, you can attack any areas you weren’t able to finish prior to the start of the year.

Are you ready to incorporate the elements of feng shui into your garage? Complete the garage survey form to tell us a little about your garage and schedule a no-cost, in-home consultation to discuss your specific garage needs.

 

Plan Now for a Better Garage Experience Next Winter

How many times did you awake this winter to discover that your car was covered in ice and snow because there’s no room for it in the garage? Trudging out in the harsh elements to brush away snow, chip off ice and warm up your car is the last thing you want to do on a busy weekday morning. Worse, it can leave you rushing to get to work or to get the kids to school on time, making winter travel even more dangerous.

2 Car Garage Etobicoke - right parking bay with an auto liftLast year, perhaps you promised yourself that you wouldn’t spend another winter forced to park your car outside of the garage. The months seemed to fly by, and your plan to organize or renovate the garage never quite happened. Before you knew it, you were in the midst of another harsh winter. After our last blast of wintry weather, perhaps you’ve made the same promise to yourself again this year.

Next winter might feel as though it’s a lifetime away. But then again, remember how quickly last year seemed to pass? The first month of the year is already in the books, and Groundhog Day is almost here. Ontarians are eagerly awaiting Wiarton Willie’s prediction of whether spring is on the horizon. Wiarton Willie’s forecast of what’s to come is out of your hands, but the fate of your garage isn’t. Now is the time to start making plans.

Think it’s too early to start planning for a garage renovation? It isn’t. Garage organization and renovation services are in high demand and have been growing in popularity in recent years. Schedule your garage renovation consultation in February to ensure your project will be started as soon as spring arrives. Starting early allows plenty of time for consultation, design and the ordering of products.

The primary purpose of your garage renovation might be to rescue your vehicle from the harsh winter weather. However there are many benefits to getting your garage renovation completed during spring. Are you tired of tripping over bikes, bats, balls and gardening tools in your garage? Do you avoid tackling small projects around the house because finding a screwdriver or wrench is a small project in itself? Depending on the options you choose, you’ll be able to:

  • Safely store your winter tires.
  • Neatly store winter sports equipment like sleds, ice skates and skis.
  • Store family bicycles off the ground and out of the way of vehicles.
  • Organize and store tools.
  • Neatly house gardening tools and equipment.

Just as unprotected sun exposure can damage your skin, it can also damage the paint on your car. Over time, the sun can cause oxidation and premature fading. Prolonged exposure to the oppressive summer sun weakens leather seats and rubberized trim. The headlights of your vehicle are also impacted by exposure to the sun. Parking your car in the garage during summer keeps your vehicle looking newer longer. It also makes it more comfortable to get into the car on hot summer days.

Renovating your garage during spring means you’ll have a safe place to park your car next winter, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the benefits of an organized garage during spring, summer and fall. Each garage renovation is tailored to meet the unique needs of the client. So whether you need a simple wall organization system, overhead storage, garage cabinet installation or customized storage solutions, your garage renovation specialist can help your dream garage become a reality.

Complete the garage survey form to tell us a little about your garage and schedule your no-cost, in-home consultation.