If you want to know what you can do to keep your decks looking new, remember this sound advice from Ace's Helpful Hardware Man Lou Manfredini.
Lou says after a deck is built and finished off with wood, people often do nothing to it. Then, in a year or two, they wonder why their deck looks awful. This may come as news, but decks should be coated with preservative every few years.Some people may trying using products sold as "deck sealers", but these sealers only create a temporary water-repellent surface. In years, the surface could begin to peel or even look blotchy.
Instead of these products, you may want a penetrating preservative that contains a tinted stain.
The ideal preservative should contain a linseed or rosewood oil base, which drives the stain deep into the wood.
Your woods will indeed end up being stained, but this is the only way to truly block the sun's ultraviolet rays, which damage the wood's fibers.
Whatever the size of the root ball, the hole you dig should be twice as big around and one-and-a-half times as deep.
The key to success, though, is with what you fill this hole. Be sure to give your customers Lou's Surefire Soil Recipe.
In a wheelbarrow, you mix equal parts of mushroom compost (available in some RSC's as Ace no. 7102387) or Ace Manure (Ace no. 72477), peat moss (like Ace no. 70585) and black dirt (like Ace no. 72434).
This gives the roots the opportunity to flourish even in marginal soil and greatly enhances their survival rate.
Mushroom compost and manure are nutrient-packed and plants love these materials. The peat moss holds moisture and guarantees that the plants won't dry out, while the black dirt or topsoil binds everything together.
By the way, you should not remove the burlap from a tree or shrub before setting it into the ground. That would be like suddenly yanking the blanket off a sleeping baby.
It comes as a needless shock to the roots, one that can be avoided. Instead, Lou's topsoil recipe will give plants the strength they need to eat through the decomposable burlap in no time.
Looking for more information? Visit our Ace Hardware Consumer website.