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Identify And Eliminate Pests

Pests are never a welcome sight, but that statement holds particularly true when it comes to areas of the facility where food is served. There are three common pests that often make their way into food service areas. And it is important for custodial executives to understand what pests frequent these areas and how to deal with an infestation, should one occur.

Cockroaches are a health hazard, so an infestation needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible. These little pests can introduce and spread bacteria within a facility, which means building occupants can suffer from diarrhea, food poisoning and gastroenteritis.

Cockroaches are naturally attracted to areas where food is readily available, which means staffs should regularly check food service areas. Kitchens stay fairly warm, providing a perfect, moist environment for these little creatures.

Custodial executives that see cockroaches should not wait to remove them. Cockroaches are amazingly resilient; they can go without eating for weeks at a time, and they can access the indoors through the smallest of cracks.

Rats and mice are constantly looking for both food and shelter, which makes the food service area of a facility the ideal place to hide out. Unfortunately, building occupants tend to get very upset at the sight of a rodent, which means businesses can suffer as a result of an infestation.

Both mice and rats are fast, they can get in through very small spaces and they do carry disease. As if this isn’t reason enough to keep rodents out, they can actually cause fires as a result of the physical damage they inflict on a building.

Staffs should be on the lookout for signs indicating the presence of a rodent. This might include droppings, misplaced insulation or the presence of other nesting items. Once an infestation is suspected, immediate action should be taken for extermination.

As the weather warms up, flies can become abundant and, if not prevented, will cause numerous problems in food service areas. Not only are flies an annoyance, they can transmit pathogens and contaminate food by landing on it. Flies have been known to cause shingles, tuberculosis, salmonella and E.coli, among other things. If they make their way into a facility, flies are particularly attracted to food such as flour, cereal and beans.

Preventing Problems
Even the cleanest facility can have issues with pests. That’s why it is important to pay attention to areas in and around the facility that often draw these creatures in. Doing so can help minimize any potential for problems.

First, it is important to spend some time outside of the building. Outdoor dining areas should be swept well and tables need to be cleaned regularly. Sidewalks and patio spaces should be hosed off on a recurring basis. However, make sure workers do not leave any standing water around; doing so will only attract more pests.

If trash receptacles are being stored near facility entrances, move them immediately. Trash attracts pests, so making sure receptacles are not kept along the exterior wall of the facility will keep pests further away. All trash cans indoors should be emptied and cleaned with hot, soapy water on a regular basis. Regardless of whether the receptacle is indoors or out, it’s very important that they also have a tight fitting lid that will keep unwelcome pests at bay.

Inside the kitchen, foods that are particularly attractive to pests, such as sugar and flour, need to be placed in containers with tight fitting lids. To cut back on flies, invest in fly screens for the doors and windows, and consider purchasing an air curtain for the doors, as well.

Also, make sure the dining areas receive a lot of attention. Properly cleaning this space often involves regularly cleaning tables and counters, sweeping and mopping floors, washing chairs and checking seat cushion cracks for food and debris. Also, make sure workers don’t forget food storing stations and soda machines, which are particularly attractive to pests.

Finally, it is important to close up any gaps or cracks around pipes, drains, vents and wiring. This helps to keep out both bugs and rodents.

No one wants to deal with a pest infestation. Food service areas are unfortunately prone to a number of different small visitors. However, with a bit of work, it is possible to keep pests out of the facility.

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Making Your Garden Look More Spacious

If you have a smaller yard and wish to have a garden, you can make it appear more spacious by incorporating some of these easy ideas into your garden.

Pergola's will give the appearance of a grander feeling in your garden. They are ideal for framing a view and helping the eye to focus on a specific area of the garden thus drawing the eye away from the lack of space.

You can easily incorporate shrubs around the pergola and climbing plants can help to encourage the eye to go up thus creating the illusion of more space.

Arbors are also an ideal solution for the smaller garden. Arbors can focus on one or two plants and the plants can easily be trained to grow up the arbor. Often, roses and other climbing plants such as honeysuckle, wisteria, and other such flowers are used in arbors.

Arbors lend an air of aristocracy to any garden and can lead to the illusion of more space and wealth. Abors are ideal for a corner or centre focal point in any garden.

Consider creating smaller seating areas by using a small garden bench or bistro seating area. Focus on plants in and around the bench or bistro area and create the illusion of more space by designing a garden path of flowers or pebbles to the area.

By creating different seating areas with furnishings your yard will appear to open up and give the illusion of more space. It's also a great way to create a relaxing and soothing outdoor space that lends itself well to relaxation.

Creating such intimate areas in the garden will help to give the illusion of more space and it's easy to use plant height to design this area.

Mid-height plants can help to screen out ugly views beyond the area such as a vacant lot or parking area. Add to this, bold and bright colours with flowers that grace the area and you're sure to feel as if your garden is much larger than it actually is.

Incorporate as much color and varying heights into your design as you can and you'll have the perfect design to create more illusion of space. A landscape gardening firm can be brought in to advise on the selection of different plants for different needs.

You can also slant the planting toward an open space to lend the air of more space. Small picket fencing with flowers just behind it can also help to lend the air of more space.

An Overview Of Home Plumbing Systems

The construction of your home is like a big puzzle and there are a lot of pieces to that puzzle that make it all come together and function. Among those pieces are the roof that keeps bad weather out and the electric wiring that makes all the creature comfort devices in your home work. One of the most import pieces of the puzzle is your homes plumbing systems. Here is an overview of a typical homes plumbing system and the functions of each part of it.

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Incoming Water Lines

Of course none of the plumbing fixtures in your house can work if you dont have water coming into your house. That is why it is important that each home have an incoming water line as part of its plumbing systems. These usually tap into a main line that the city or town you reside in has running along each street in it. Once tapped it will run to a meter attached to the side of your house so the city or town can keep track of your usage and bill you accordingly. After the incoming water line goes through your water meter it then enters the house and goes to the places where it is needed throughout your home.

Hot Water Line

One of the most important parts of your homes plumbing systems is the hot water line. You use it for doing such things as bathing, washing clothes, cleaning dishes and preparing drinks. It works because a cold water line runs into a water heater where it is super-heated and then stored until needed. When needed it runs to bathroom fixtures, washing machines and sinks. It is the part of the plumbing system in your home which really adds comfort to your life.


Water cannot take the final step to get to where you need it unless there is a fixture at the end of the plumbing line; that is why these devices play an important role in your houses plumbing systems. They are the means which hot and cold water is dispensed, bodily excrements are removed from the house and the all-important valves which allow water to run to a water line in your home or to stop it from flowing.

Sewer/Septic Drain Lines

Once all that water is used it does not just evaporate into thin air and it has to go someplace. That is another major task for your plumbing systems and it is done through drain lines. These carry wastewater, solid waste and body excrement safely away from your house where they can be disposed of in a clean and sanitary manner that eventually takes it to a facility that converts the wastewater back into usable water.

It truly would be hard to imagine your home without all the plumbing systems that run through it. These systems supply one of the basic necessities of life into your home, make everyday life more comfortable and also greatly contribute to keeping your home clean and sanitary.

Paint Success: Guide To Finding Quality Painting Jobs (melbourne) For Your House

If you are giving your house a makeover, the interior and exterior paint would greatly impact the final look. Browsing through the internet and looking for the cheapest deals wouldnt help in choosing the right company. You have to be wise in sifting through the different painting jobs (Melbourne) available. Heres an advice on how you can successfully choose a painting company.

Satisfaction. Previous clients of the company should be satisfied with their work. Painters Melbourne not only include the actual painting work but also their customer relations. They should be professional and open to their client. Negotiating and asking for comments and suggestions is a plus. Also, they should be able to answer the clients questions in case they have worries about the budget or colors to be used. Up-to-date. Painting jobs (Melbourne) should also jive with the latest trend. This will keep your house classy and stylish. Knowledge about different painting and styling techniques is must.

Clear Estimate for the Job. Providing a clear rundown of the cost of the project is important. This will help the client gauge if he could afford the service. And this could also help the client negotiate with the total cost. On-site Visit. You cannot estimate the total cost just by merely looking at the photo or having the dimensions in your office. The company should visit the house and inspect each wall and ceiling to be painted. They should be the ones who are measuring the dimensions.

Some companies would give an initial estimate but after the job is done, theyll be charging more than the amount they have proposed because of the discrepancy between the given dimensions to the actual. Painting jobs (Melbourne) should be honest and accurate in providing their estimate. Even if it is just an estimated amount, the company should work within their given cost. Dedication. In house painting, the company should be passionate in achieving quality work and exceeding their clients expectations. Clients are their top priority. They will exhaust all their efforts and resources to get what the customer wants.

Meticulous. Painting should be meticulous. Coating should be even and smooth. Bumps shouldnt be visible. Finished work must be perfect. You can ask them if you could visit one of their project houses so you could see the quality of their work. Guaranteed Service. Before you hire a painting contractor, you should ask if they are giving warranty for their service. This will eliminate clients worry about the painting job. Companies should still be approachable even after the job is finished. Finding the right company for painting jobs (Melbourne) may be tedious. You have to research and to carefully examine each company so you could get the best for your home. Dont sacrifice quality by picking the first company you see. Ask around. Look for referrals. And have at least three companies to choose from. It may take a little time before you meet your newly and perfectly painted home but it will all be worth it.

Top Hvac Secrets For Saving Money And Time

There are some people who are fortunate enough to live in temperate climates where the weather is always perfect. For the rest of us, we need good HVAC systems that keep us cool in the summer and warm in the winter. For help finding such a system, read the following article.

Look for deals and rebates on the HVAC system you are having installed. Many ENERGY STAR units come with huge rebates either from your local utility company or the government itself. Investigate your options as it could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the installation costs.

Let your friends and family know about the discounts that are possible via ENERGY STAR. There's a lot of savings that can be had here, so why hold this good news all to yourself! You can save those closest to you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.

Clean your permanent air filters or replace disposable ones every single month. If you have the choice, an electrostatic is the best option on the market today. Be sure to turn off your unit before you change the filter as it should never be run without a filter in place.

Every spring you need to make sure your condenser fan's coils and blades on the fan part are clean. Make sure to turn off the fan's power first to be safe. Next, pop off the grill, pull out the blades and start cleaning them and the unit itself off gently. If you need to hire a local contractor to do this work for you click here.

A programmable thermostat can help you save money on your air conditioning bill. It may save you as much as 10 percent of your overall utility bill if you turn your thermostat down by 10-15 degrees for a portion of the day. Additionally, some models of programmable thermostats actually allow you to control them remotely from your office computer or cell phone.

Whether you have an air conditioner in a window or outside your home, be sure to keep it in the shade. The cooler the air around it, and the cooler the condenser itself, the easier a time it will have of keeping the air inside your home cool as well.

Make sure things don't get too hot or cold where your thermostat is. Any electronics or heat sources like lamps or televisions nearby can trick the thermostat into thinking the home is warmer than it actually is. This just means it runs your air conditioning longer than necessary, wasting energy and money.

Every year hire someone to give your HVAC unit routine maintenance. This will ensure that it works properly throughout the entire year. It will also allow you to have lower heating and cooling bills. When your HVAC is running properly, it will use the least amount of energy and save you money.

Use your HVAC system to heat your water for free! In the summer, residual heat pulled out of your house is used to heat water through a geothermal system. This will cool your home while allowing you to save a ton on hot water costs, plus it's environmentally friendly to boot!

The HVAC system is only one piece in an efficient home. You must also consider the quality of your windows and doors. Make sure the seal is impenetrable from outdoor drafts, and that none of the air you're paying to heat or cool escapes either. You can also hire someone to test them.

Every season inspect the outdoor condenser unit of your HVAC system. Remove any weeds and leaves that may be obstructing air flow to the unit. Hose off the inside and outside of the unit to remove any dirt build up. Cover the motor with plastic bags prior to rinsing the unit so that you do not get it wet.

If you hear clicking noises from your condenser fan, make sure that it is not striking something inside the unit. If it is not hitting something, it may be bent. Do not try to straighten the blades. This could cause it to become unbalanced. Simply replace the blade to ensure proper rotation.

Look for deals on equipment. The equipment you need to update, maintain or repair your HVAC system tends to be expensive. Keep your eyes open for available coupons, store discounts and rebates on this equipment. Stock up on things you always need, like filters, when they are on sale.

Unless you are fortunate enough to live in a place where the weather is always lovely, you are going to need an HVAC system in your home. Without one, you will sweat all summer and shiver all winter. What you have just read will help you choose a system that meets your needs.

How To Clean A Drain In Your Home

Its no secret that there are few things you use more of in your home on a regular basis than water. You use water to clean clothes, prepare meals, take showers and a whole bunch of other activities that take place around your house. When you are done with these activities all that water needs to go someplace and that is where your many household drains come into play. With so many drains in your house it is inevitable that one will get clogged from time to time; here is how to clean a drain, prevent them from getting clogged and how to unclog them if they do get plugged up.


The best way to keep your household drains clear is to prevent them from getting clogged up in the first place. Make sure all the grates and screens are securely in place before you prepare food, take a bath or do any other activity around a drain. You should also periodically take the screens and grates out to ensure there is nothing like hair or food particles that are collecting under them.

Never pour such things as hot grease into your drains either. The grease may be liquid when you pour it in but it quickly turns into a solid when it cools as it enters the pipes; once it becomes a solid it can start forming a severe clog right away.

Clean the traps under your sink out periodically too. These are usually attached by threaded nuts or PVC quick couplings that are very easy to loosen to let you take the trap out and clean it. This should be done at least once a year as part of a household routine maintenance plan.

How to Clean a Drain Periodically

Its a very good idea to periodically pour very hot water into all your drain lines at least once every two to three months. This will help keep things such as grease and other soluble solids from building up in the lines. You can also mix baking soda and vinegar together to form a homemade drain cleaner that is much less expensive and harsh on the plumbing than store bought drain cleaners. These are important steps when it comes to knowing how to clean a drain.

Unclogging a Plugged Up Drain

There are a few things you can do to get out a clog in your drain lines if one happens to form. You can try the baking soda and vinegar xture mentioned above and let it sit overnight and see if that works. If not, then an old fashioned plunger is a good thing to try next to get the clog out. If all else fails, then you will need a drain snake or drain auger to get the job done; you may want to seriously consider having a professional plumber come to your house to do this.

Its actually pretty easy to learn how to clean a drain and to keep them open so they are there working when you really need them.

How To Replace A Furnace

Being a Canadian resident really has its perks from time to time and no matter where you live here there is always someplace beautiful to go see at certain times of year. As with any place you have to take the good with the bad and Canadians are no strangers to extremely cold blasts of weather. That is why it is so important to have a properly working furnace to heat your home when the cold spells hit. In the event you should ever have to replace your heating system here are the steps on how to replace a furnace.

1. Pick Out a new Furnace

Of course the first thing you need to do when you need a new furnace is to purchase one. Try doing an internet search on the dealers and brands of furnaces that are available near you; this will help you identify quality products and quality HVAC companies near you and that is a great place to start your search.

Keep in mind that you dont just want to shop for price either; paying more for a furnace that is quality made, has a great warranty and is very energy efficient will quickly eat up that $500 - $1000 dollars you saved on a budget brand furnace. Dont be afraid to ask for help as far as unit sizing for your home and other things are concerned too.

2. Get Rid of the Old One

Most likely the company that installs your new furnace will take out the old one for you. They will need to do such things as disconnect the incoming power, disconnect the gas or oil line and then tear down and remove the old furnace.

3. Get Ready for the Installation

Before they come to do the installation you have to make sure of a couple things. One, that the area where the furnace is going is free from clutter and other objects (you should always keep the area around your furnace clean because you dont want to block the airflow to it or create a fire hazard). They will need room to lay out the new furnace parts because it will only be partially assembled. Be prepared to have doors propped open so they can bring their materials and tools for the job in and out easy. This is an important step to remember when it comes to how to replace a furnace.

4. Learning How to Use the New Furnace

Once the installation is complete you will not only know how to replace a furnace but you will need to know how to operate the new furnace also. The installation crew should take the time to go over this with you before they leave. Not to mention, you should carefully watch how they operate the system when they go to test it out too.

Follow these steps on how to replace a furnace and you should have no trouble with your installation at all. Once they are done with the install you will have a new furnace keeping you and your family warm even in the coldest months.

Can You Put Off Calling A 24-hour Plumber?

All homeowners have plumbing emergencies at one point or another. But the question is, when do you know if a certain problem requires the services of a 24-hour emergency plumber? At times, you can put off certain emergencies in the dead of the night that are worth twice or thrice the normal rate the next day when regular services and rate applies.

For instance, consider this scenario. You wake up in the dead of the night upon hearing what appears to be running water. You are thinking of a sprinkler. However, it sounds too close. You trace the sound and its coming from your bathroom. You get in, and your socks end up getting soaked. Now, how will you respond?

Turn off the Water Source

Your first response is to turn off the water source to protect the rest of your home from further damage. If the water is coming out of a fixture, perhaps your faucet or toilet, shut off the water supply heading to that fixture. If you are not sure of the source or do not know how to turn it off, just turn off the entire water supply in your home to be sure.

Can You Put it Off?

Evaluate the urgency of the problem prior to making any calls. If you have an overflowing toilet in your midst, turn off the water to stop the damage and put off the repair by not flushing the toilet for as long as you can. All localized issues can be put off until the morning by simply turning off the water source in that specific area. For instance, utilize the sink in your kitchen if the one in your bathroom is clogged. By waiting it out until the morning or when regular working hours resume, you can avoid paying for an emergency service in the dead of the night or on a holiday or a Sunday.

Contact the Water Company

Not all the time, all water repairs are your personal responsibility. If the issue concerns the main water line, a break in the service, a sewer clog, or other sewer-related issues, contact your water company first. At times, some water companies provide 24-hour emergency plumber and services in response to urgent and pressing problems. Call them first to know what their coverage is and to schedule any repairs within their jurisdiction.

The Phone Call

If you have a pressing issue in your midst, and it cannot wait until the morning, calling a 24-hour emergency plumber is your best recourse.

Try to identify and isolate the issue and determine what is working and what doesn't. If you have an overflowing toilet, inspect other home fixtures to determine if they are having issues as well. Make a list of the questions you are going to ask the plumber before making that call.

Contact several plumbers. Obtain several estimates prior to scheduling a service call. You want to hire the best one with the most reasonable price.

Specify your problem. By giving the plumbers as many details about the problem that you can, he can give you a much closer estimate of how much the repair will cost you.

Ask for the service calls estimate. Plumbers charge extra for coming over to your home. it is better to know how much it will be way ahead of time.

Ask for the repairs cost. Most plumbers do not issue an estimate over the phone, but you may somehow get an idea of how much it will be. Give the plumber a clear picture of the problem (for instance a blocked toilet) and ask how much a repair will cost you.

* Try to speak to the plumber yourself. If it is an answering machine, leave a message for the plumber to call you back so youll have a better idea of the cost.

The Different Ways To Heat Your Garage

When most people think of garage heaters they typically think of something like a plugin space heater but in truth there are a lot of different ways in which you can heatyour garage. Here are some examples of different ways you can add heat to your garage.

1. Electric Space Heater

It was already mentioned that people often associate garage heaters with electric space heaters and there is a good reason for it. Electric space heaters are cheap to buy and are also a good source of quick heat when there is no other alternative available. They can also be placed exactly where you want the heat to go first.

They are not without there drawbacks either. They can be very dangerous if not used properly and have been the reported cause of many house fires during the colder months. They are also very inefficient and expensive when run for long periods of time and they do not do a very good job of heating up the entire space in a room.

2. Wood Stoves

Wood stoves are a fairly good way to heat something like a garage area. They are fairly inexpensive to buy and setting them up usually only takes a few hours. Wood is also a very cheap source of fuel in most cases. The coals that the burning wood generates stay hot for a fairly long period of time too.

There are a lot of drawbacks to using wood stoves to heat a garage. For one, they are a lot of work, especially if you chop the wood to use in them yourself. Since there is no static energy supply, every hour or so you will have to manually feed wood into the combustion chamber to keep generating the heat too. They do not do a good job of heating large areas and if they are going to be used for this purpose then you will need to consider adding some sort of forced air system into the mix also.

3. Central Heat

Adding central heating to a garage is not as expensive as one might think and it gives the user several advantages. They move the heat by using forced air so it tends to be a very efficient form of heat to fill up the entire space in a room; not to mention, they also improve air quality in the garage too because of this air circulation. They are fed by a supply line so there is no manual element in the generation of heat other than setting the thermostat. Central garage heaters are very efficient in the way they work also.

It was mentioned that their initial expense was one of the drawbacks for using them as garage heaters but this can be offset by their convenience and lower cost of operation.

No matter what choice you make when it comes to garage heaters, you should be able to find a setup that will get you the heat that you desire when using your garage in the colder months.

What Crops Can you Plant in your Organic Garden?

The number of people and blogs talking about the importance of organic gardening are numerous. However, for a new farmer it can be difficult to decide on the type of crop that is best for your garden. Let me begin by confirming that the stories are true, organic gardening requires commitment and understanding. Organic gardening does not utilize chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Instead, gardeners, use biological methods of pest control such as a wasp trap. Organic gardening also entails the existence of nature in perfect balance; therefore, do not be surprised to see gardeners who do not mind the insects. This is because they understand the important role of insects in the garden, so much so that some organic gardeners have built a bug hotel in their gardens with the aim of enjoying all the benefits of insects in gardening.

It is important to note that the type of crop grown differs with each garden due to climatic, soil, and nutrient differences. Therefore, the clever way is to spend some time doing research on the climate in your area and the requirements of each crop. It is advised that a soil test should be utilized to identify the nutrient ratio of the soil before deciding on a crop. Organic gardeners utilize various methods of weed control, but, you should expect that there will be some weeds. The weeds can be controlled using natural weed control methods, while some can be used as food for your pet especially rabbits, all you need are good outdoor rabbit hutch plans to begin.

The choices of organic crops in the market are enormous and the new farmer needs to choose the crop that is best suited in their environment.

1. Radishes. Radishes do well even in not-so-great garden soil and are ready to harvest in only a few weeks. Plant the seeds in spring and fall.

2. Salad greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula and corn salad). Pick your favorite, or try a mix — many companies sell mixed packets for summer and winter gardening. Plant the seeds in spring and fall, and you can pick salads almost year-round.

3. Green beans. Easy to grow and prolific. If you get a big crop, they freeze well, and they are also delicious when pickled as dilly beans. Start with seeds after all danger of frost has passed.

4. Onions. Start with small plants, and if they do well, you can harvest bulb onions. If not, you can always eat the greens.
5. Strawberries. Perfectly ripe strawberries are unbelievably sweet, and the plants are surprisingly hardy. Buy bare-root plants in early spring. Put this perennial in a sunny spot and keep it well weeded.

6. Peppers. Both hot peppers and bell peppers are easy to grow. Start with plants and let peppers from the same plant ripen for different lengths of time to get a range of colors and flavors.

7. Bush zucchini. This squash will not take up as much room in your garden as many other types, and it is very prolific. Start from seeds or transplants. You will not need more than a few plants for a bumper crop.

8. Tomatoes. There is just no substitute for a perfectly ripe homegrown tomato, and it is hard to go wrong when you start with strong plants. If you get a big crop, consider canning or freezing.

9. Basil. Many herbs are easy to grow, but basil is a good choice because it is a nice complement to tomatoes. Basil is easy to grow from seeds or from transplants.

10. Potatoes. An easy-to-grow staple that stores well when kept cool. A simple and low-maintenance approach is to plant potatoes in straw rather than soil. ‘Seeds’ are whole or cut sections of potatoes, sold in early spring.

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11. Asparagus
Plant once, harvest for years: A well-maintained bed of this sweet, slender veggie will stay productive for up to 15 years, and, with its vibrant, ferny foliage, asparagus makes an excellent ornamental. Learn how to plant, grow and harvest asparagus.

12. Beets
Red table beets are only the tip of the beet iceberg: Mangel beets can be used as livestock fodder, storage beets can be eaten all winter, and white or golden beets make a stunning edible display when mixed in a beet salad.

13. Broccoli
Tasty in each of its many varieties, broccoli is easier to grow than its relative’s cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, and can produce bountiful crops for even novice gardeners. Get tips on how to plant, how to harvest and more.

14. Brussels Sprouts
One of the last veggies to be harvested in early winter, Brussels sprouts brings the gardening year to a delicious close. Growing Brussels sprouts is easy if you plant at the right time and work with vigorous varieties. This guide includes descriptions of Brussels sprout varieties and tips for growing this cabbage-family crop in your organic

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