Archive - November 2017

1
Best Electric Patio Heaters. Infrared Outdoor Heaters
2
Amish Porch Swings! Reviews and Information
3
Best Gas Patio Heater. Natural Gas, Propane Patio Heater Reviews
4
All of the Parts of a Patio Umbrella
5
Best Greenhouse Heater. Reviews and Information
6
Tiki Torch Wicks: How to Replace, and Reviews
7
Best Tiki Torch Fuel, Keep the Bugs Away!
8
The Bokashi Bin. Bokashi Compost Info, Make or Buy?
9
Bokashi Bran – Make Your Own or Buy?
10
Gazebo Side Panels! Which is Best for your Needs?

Best Electric Patio Heaters. Infrared Outdoor Heaters

Electric Patio Heaters generally put out a fraction of the heat that propane gas patio heaters do, but they are much easier to use. There’s no need to move around heavy propane tanks, no need to get refills from the stores, no worries about proper hose connections and safety, etc. Electric Patio Heaters are plug and warm! After a thorough examination of the infrared patio heater market, we have found that the Fire Sense 1,500 watt electric outdoor heater is the best heater on the market. It is well built, has an adjustable height option, two color options, a directional heating system, a heavy, wheeled base, and is protected under a one year warranty.

As electric outdoor heaters go, these are a solid choice. We should mention that these glow pretty strongly, so if you don’t want bright light, consider another style of heater.

For a complete review of these heaters, please see our Product Reviews section below.

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Amish Porch Swings! Reviews and Information

Amish Porch Swings are renowned for their quality and hand-made craftsmanship. There are many different porch swings out there, from teak porch swings to polywood swings. But Amish swings are differentiated by their classic hand made designs.  We have taken a close look at several of the top Amish swing benches on the market, and have picked five swings from three manufacturers to look at today. We have determined that the Cafe 5′ porch swing option is the best out of the bunch. It starts right from the beginning – the seamless craftsmanship should ensure that holes line up well during assembly; speaking of which, it is rather easy to assemble. After that, the contoured roll-back design helps give it top notches in comfort. The 5’ option comes already finished, and should provide plenty of room, as well as having a capacity of 800 pounds, which is great for those who want to fit two or three on the bench. These benches are made of pressure treated pine that has been pre-treated with a soy based cedar stain. This stain looks quite nice, and finishes off the bench swing in a very stylish way.

For a complete review of this porch swing, please see our Product Reviews below.

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Best Gas Patio Heater. Natural Gas, Propane Patio Heater Reviews

A high quality outdoor heat source can add several months of additional use to your outdoor space, keeping you outside in the fresh air late into the fall, and earlier in the spring! For many, this is incredibly valuable, and is a significant quality of life improvement. After an extensive examination of several propane and natural gas patio heaters on the market today, we have determined that the overall Best Gas Patio Heater is the Golden Flame 46,000 BTU Patio Heater XL Series. These units supply great heat output, are constructed with good materials, have a straightforward, reliable ignition system, and feature a well thought out design. You won’t go wrong with these propane gas patio heaters.

For a complete review of these units, please see our Product Reviews section below. Read More

All of the Parts of a Patio Umbrella

All the Parts of a Patio Umbrella

In this article, we will look at all the parts of a patio umbrella, and cover the major aspects of each part. For those who already have a patio umbrella that may have a damaged piece, or need a replacement, this guide will hopefully help identify what needs to be replaced, and give you some idea where to look next. For those shopping for a patio umbrella, this guide will cover all the basics of the anatomy of a patio umbrella, and what to look for in a quality umbrella.

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Best Greenhouse Heater. Reviews and Information

Heating your greenhouse can significantly extend the life of your growing season, allowing you to grow later in the season, and allowing you to sprout earlier on. Plus it’s pretty great to have plants coming to life inside, while the world outside is barren and cold! After looking at several heaters that would be appropriate for greenhouse use on the market, we have determined that the Dr Heater DR218 line of heaters is the Best Greenhouse Heater for most applications. With two models to choose from, one designed for 110v plugs (typical wall plugs) and the other designed for 220v plugs (dryer and stove plugs), this line of greenhouse heaters can put out some decent heat for a variety of applications. Also, its housing is designed for use in damp areas, which is a plus.

For a complete review of this unit, see our Product Reviews section below.

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Tiki Torch Wicks: How to Replace, and Reviews

Tiki Torch Burning Away

Tiki Torch Burning Away

Replacing Tiki Torch Wicks is not a difficult task, but it is one that is required from time to time. If you accidentally forget to cap your wicks after a night on the patio, and it rains, your wicks may get water logged, and ruined. Or perhaps you are curious to try a different formulation for Tiki Torch Fuel (we love Eucalyptus!), you should swap out your wicks when you change your fuel source. Or perhaps they just got old and frayed over time and use.

This article focuses on how to change your Tiki Torch Wicks, and also looks at several replacement wicks available online.

Tiki Torches come in a variety of types, from the traditional kitschy bamboo styles everyone is familiar with to the new, modern Metal Tiki Torches like the one shown here.  These torches bring ambiance to the garden or patio space, supply much needed light, and often help keep the bugs away! They can be extremely helpful, and it’s wise to give them occasional attention to ensure that they are burning properly for the rest of the season.

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Best Tiki Torch Fuel, Keep the Bugs Away!

Tiki Torches are super useful outdoor lanterns, providing light, ambiance, and (depending on the fuel) mosquito protection. Whether the torch is a modern metal Tiki torch or a kitschy bamboo style one, the type of fuel put into the torch will determine how well it burns, what the smell and smoke levels are, and how well the bugs are repelled. After a thorough examination of several types of Tiki Torch Fuel, we have determined that the Best Tiki Torch Fuel on the market is the Firefly Eucalyptus Blend Tiki Fuel. A 2017 study in the Oxford Journal of Insect Science tested several mosquito repellent products and found Eucalyptus to be one of the most effective substances at keeping mosquitoes away — much better than Citronella, which the study found did not do much at all.

As an additional plus, this Tiki Torch Fuel smells fairly mild, and produces a relatively low amount of smoke and soot. It’s a bit more expensive than the traditional Tiki Torch Fuels, but we feel the benefits this fuel offers make it more than worth the extra cost.

For a closer look at the Firefly Eucalyptus Tiki Torch Fuel, see below.

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The Bokashi Bin. Bokashi Compost Info, Make or Buy?

Chef's Star 5 Gallon Air Tight Indoor Bokashi Bin Kitchen Compost Kit

Chef’s Star 5 Gallon Air Tight Indoor Bokashi Bin Kitchen Compost Kit

Bokashi Composting is a great small scale composting system, developed in the 1980s in Japan, that enables kitchen waste (including meat and dairy) to be composted efficiently with low odors, both indoors and outdoors. And it’s worm-free! The main items you need to do this type composting are a Bokashi Bin, and Bokashi Bran (and your kitchen scraps, of course!). We discuss Bokashi Bran over here, and consider the trade-offs between making your own, or buying. This article will specifically discuss Bokashi Bins, which are the second major item needed in this process. These, too, can be either made DIY or purchased. In this article, we will look at making your own bucket, and also some of the popular store-bought options to get you started making compost to enable you to grow healthy fruits and vegetables for your family.

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Bokashi Bran – Make Your Own or Buy?

Pre-Made Bokashi Bran by Bokashi Brothers

Pre-Made Bokashi Bran by Bokashi Brothers

Once people start using Bokashi style composting systems, many find the process to be engaging and addictive. Soon, unfortunately, they start to run low on Bokashi Bran, and need to resupply. There are two alternatives here, purchasing pre-made Bokashi mix, and rolling your own DIY Bokashi Bran. Making your own certainly does save money, though how much depends largely on the quantities of materials you purchase. It is a fairly simple process, and can be a great project for kids and families. Read on for the recipe and instructions.

Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing pre-made Bokashi Bran as well, and later on in this article we look at a few pre-made options for those who don’t want to bother making their own.

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Gazebo Side Panels! Which is Best for your Needs?

Gazebos, pavilions, pergolas, pop up canopies, and the like are extremely useful outdoor structures. They provide some shelter, visual interest, and a sense of place outdoors. However, they are typically open to the air, sun, and rain on the sides. By using Gazebo Side Panels, one can enclose part or all of one of these structures in order to increase privacy, improve shelter, and make outdoor living and working easier. After a thorough review of several of the best side panels for gazebos on the market today, we have determined that the Apex Garden Gazebo privacy panel is the best side panel overall. It will fit 10′-12′ long gazebo sides, has a central zipper for easy entrance and exit, and is suspended by metal rings in the same manner as a shower curtain. Made of UV-resistant polyester, it will provide shade and protection to those inside the outdoor structure. This side panel is not waterproof, but it will keep some rain out.

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