Category Archives: Home and Garden

2018 FREE Water Smart Landscape, Gardening, and Irrigation Seminars at BRIT in Fort Worth

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FREE Fort Worth Water Smart Irrigation and Landscape Seminars

Using less water is not only good for the environment, it is also great for saving money on your water bill! The Fort Worth Water Department, in partnership with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, is hosting a series of FREE seminars that will teach you how to plan and grow a water-saving garden, easy tips for maintaining a healthy water-wise landscape, helpful info for installing a DIY drip irrigation system, and much more! 

The list of upcoming classes includes:

:: Rainwater Harvesting ~ March 1, 2018
Think big for your home and save big on your water bill! This program covers design, construction, maintenance and benefits of a large rainwater collection system. Participants will learn how to calculate rainwater capture and design an above ground water collection system for a home, ranch or business. Register here. »

:: Top 100 Plants for North Texas ~ April 5, 2018
Are you a “Native Texan” or a transplant? Plants can be native or transplants too! Create a lush and vibrant landscape with our favorite “Top 100” native and adapted plants, ideal for your North Texas landscape. You’ll also learn proper soil preparation, proper planting, how to choose the right plant for the right place, as well as tips to keep your plants beautiful and healthy year-round. Register here. »

:: You Landscape It ~ May 3, 2018
Transform your landscape into a beautiful low maintenance, water efficient landscape. At this seminar, you’ll learn basic design principles, plant placement, and the newest hardscape trends so you can “do it yourself” and save big! You’ll also receive tips on how to use the ULandscapeIT tool on the WaterUniversity.tamu.edu website so that you can become your own landscape designer! Register here. »

:: Drip Irrigation ~ June 7, 2018
Make every drop count — drip irrigation is the most efficient irrigation method for landscape beds, potted plants, vegetable gardens or home foundations. Whether you have an existing sprinkler system or just an outdoor faucet, learn how to install, convert and maintain a drip irrigation system. The flow of information from our experts will make “do it yourself” drip irrigation seem easy! Register here. »

:: Water U Doing?: Water Efficient Sprinklers ~ July 12, 2018
Save water, money and time by giving your sprinkler system a “Spruce Up.” Come learn how minor do-it-yourself repairs and simple irrigation tips can make a major impact on your water waste and your water bill. If you’ve got questions about your controller or how much your lawn and landscape really needs, we’ve got a stream of info to get your plants looking their best! Register here. »

:: Put the ‘Care’ Into Lawn Care ~ August 2, 2018
Did you fight the lawn and the lawn won? Don’t let it! This course will teach you proper maintenance techniques, efficient watering methods, and simplified fertilizer and pesticide application to reduce weed and disease issues. We’ll help you create a lush and healthy lawn that will make your neighbors green with envy! Register here. »

:: Grow Your Own Vegetables ~ September 6, 2018
“Lettuce” talk about vegetables! Whether you’re trying to eat healthier, want to know where your food comes from, or just love the idea of growing delicious vine-ripened vegetables at home, this class in for you. Learn proper soil preparation, garden design and layouts, disease and insect identification, as well as the proper planting times for getting the most production out of your favorite vegetables in the challenging climate of North Texas. Register here. »

:: Texas Trees ~ October 4, 2018
Trees are without a doubt, our most valuable landscape investment! Whether you’re interested in their ornamental value for your property, their contribution to energy and water savings at your home or business, or the many other ecosystem services they provide, this program covers it. Branch out and join us to learn tips on tree selection and proper planting practices, as well as proper watering, pruning, common insect issues and diseases.  Register here. »

:: Composting ~ November 1, 2018
Compost is absolutely one of the best soil amendments money can buy, but you don’t have to buy! Learn how to make high-quality compost at home using materials most folks throw away. This class give you the “dirt” on the most effective composting methods with a focus on practical techniques and tips to get your compost system back to its peak.  Register here. » 

 


All seminars will take place from 6-8pm at:

The Botanical Research Instiute of Texas
1700 University Drive in Fort Worth

Do note, that while seminars are FREE, they do require pre-registration as there are limited seats given on a first come, first serve basis.  

Learn more here.


 

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15 Tips to Avoid Storm Damage Repair Scams and Other Rip-Offs

Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by the most recent tornadoes and storms. Please pass along this vital information, as sadly there are scam artists attempting to take advantage of an already difficult situation …

storm damage fallen tree

The last few weeks of storms wreaked havoc on much of North Texas, leaving damage and destruction of vehicles, homes, property, and more. To avoid another disaster at the hands of scam artists, be sure to use caution with these useful tips from Fort Worth’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the FTC:

Avoid Home Contractor and Repair Scams

  1. Check with your insurance company first to determine your home and repair coverage and filing requirements; keep their contact information handy.
  2. Be leery of door-to-door workers or telephone solicitors who offer home repairs, inspections, heating/cooling services, or speedy insurance processing.
  3. Shop around for contractors. You may need to make temporary repairs, but permanent repairs made by a contractor should be the result of multiple work bids and contractor research.
    Require written bids that clearly identify the project’s materials, associated costs, labor charges, as well as the timing of work including the beginning and expected completion dates.
    • Be sure that the bids are comparable.
    • Do not pay in advance for any work and do not pay in cash.
    • Get references from the contractor’s past customers.
    • Check out the contractor’s history with the BBB and relevant trade association(s). Always research a business with the BBB before you sign any contracts.
  4. Require copies of all contractor licenses, permits and liability insurance prior to any work commencing.
  5. When work is complete, be sure to get a notarized statement that all sub-contractors have been paid in full to avoid a contractors lien on your property.
  6. If you have an HVAC repair, allow heating/cooling units to be cleaned out and dried before determining what, if any repairs are actually needed.

Steer Clear of Vehicle Damage Scams

  1. Similar to home repairs, shop around for a quality vehicle repair service. 
    • Require written bids that clearly show the repair parts, associated costs, mechanic labor charges, as well as the timing of work including the beginning and expected completion dates.
    • Do not pay in advance for any work and do not pay in cash.
    • Get references from past customers.
    • Check out auto mechanic’s history with the BBB or business review sites like Yelp.
  2. If you are shopping for a used vehicle, look for signs of flood or hail damage like rust, mud, watermarks, discolored upholstery, mismatching carpet or a musty odor.
  3. Request a vehicle report based on the VIN to check for past reported auto damage of any kind.

Protect Yourself From Charity & Financial Solicitation Scams
Take the following precautions to make sure your donation benefits the people and organizations you want to help.

  1. Ask for detailed information about the charity, including name, address, and telephone number.
  2. Get the exact name of the organization and do some research. Searching the name of the organization online — especially with the word “complaint(s)” or “scam”— is one way to learn about its reputation.
  3. Call the charity. Find out if the organization is aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name. The organization’s development staff should be able to help you.
  4. Find out if the charity is trustworthy by contacting the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving AllianceCharity NavigatorCharity Watch, or GuideStar.
  5. Ask if the caller is a paid fundraising company. If so, ask the name of the charity they represent, the percentage of your donation that will go to the charity, how much will go to the actual cause to which you’re donating, and how much will go to the fundraising company.
  6. Learn the basic signs of a Charity scam and more ways to protect yourself at the FTC’s helpful online guide.

Help stay clear of all scams by using the free resources at the Better Business Bureau.  Be sure to check out all businesses and charities online or by phone (800)-621-8566.

If you find yourself a victim of poor workmanship or a scam artist, immediately contact the BBB to try to recover your investment or alert others about the business or individual(s) involved. Consumers or small business owners victimized by a scam can learn more or file a complaint at fwbbb.org.

 

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Save the Date: 2017 Texas Tax FREE Holiday for Energy Star Appliances & More — May 27-29

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Be sure to save the date!  Please pass this along to anyone you know who might be in the market for new appliances, ceiling fans, air conditioners, or other Energy Star qualifying products (this can save them a bundle!)…even incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs receive tax-free status!

Texas Tax Free Weekend 2017 Washers and Dryers  Texas Tax Free Weekend 2017 Refrigerators and Kitchen Appliances

Saturday, May 27 to Monday, May 29, Texas shoppers receive a break from paying sales tax on purchases of many energy-efficient products like fluorescent light bulbs, ceiling fans, and energy-star home appliances like refrigerators, washers, and more even energy-star rated college-dorm / compact-sized refrigerators qualify! This is an excellent way to get extra savings on qualifying items, plus save on future energy costs too.

Texas Tax Free Weekend on Ceiling Fans and Air Conditioners

The energy-star products qualifying in 2017’s tax-free weekend include:

  • Refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less
  • Ceiling fans
  • Incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs
  • Clothes washers
  • Dishwashers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Air conditioners priced at $6,000 or less
  • Delivery, installation, shipping, and handling for any of these items are also excluded from tax!

The 2017 sales tax holiday begins on Saturday, May 27, and ends on Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day Weekend).

Texas Tax Free Weekend 2017 -- Fluorescent & Energy Star Lightbulbs      ENERGY STAR logo

Qualifying products will need to display the ENERGY STAR logo which will appear on the appliance, the packaging, or the Energy Guide label. The discount also applies to delivery and installation fees and there is not a limit to the number of qualifying items one can purchase during this sales tax holiday.

:: To find out more, go to the Texas comptroller’s site, here.

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2017 FREE Water Smart Landscape, Gardening, and Irrigation Seminars at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden

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FREE Fort Worth Water Smart Irrigation and Landscape Seminars

The Fort Worth Water Department, in partnership with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, is hosting a series of FREE water smart landscape and gardening seminars throughout 2017. These classes are offered monthly at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and will equip you to make educated decisions in your landscape as well as make efficient use of the latest watering and irrigation technologies.

:: Water Efficient Landscape Design ~ March 2, 2017
Are you on a budget but your landscape needs a facelift? Transform your landscape into a water efficient landscape. You’ll learn basic design principles, plant placement, and hardscape so you can do it yourself!  Register here. »

:: Native and Adaptive Plants for North Texas ~ April 6, 2017
Are you a “Native Texan” or a transplant? Plants are native or transplants too!This program covers a large selection of minimal water use plants that are native and adaptive — ideal for a sustainable landscape or garden. You will learn proper soil preparation, planting and native and adaptive plant selection.  Register here. »

:: Water Efficient Landscape Plants and Maintenance ~ May 4, 2017
Learn to install and maintain a water efficient landscape. Topics include proper soil preparation, plant and hardscape installation, and maintenance.  Register here. »

:: On the Wild Side: Gardening for Wildlife ~ June 1, 2017
In this seminar, you’ll learn about native and adaptive plants that are not only water efficient additions to your landscape, but also beautiful landscape accents that attract beneficial wildlife.  Register here. »

:: Drip Irrigation DIY ~ July 6, 2017
Learn how to water more efficiently with every drop by converting your spray heads and sprinkler system to drip. This hands-on class will teach you how to install drip irrigation tubing from your faucet or convert an existing zone to drip. Drip irrigation for foundation watering will also be covered. Register here. »

:: Water Efficient Irrigation ~ August 3, 2017
In this class you’ll learn how to most efficiently operate your sprinkler system and its components to take advantage of water efficiency best practices.  You’ll also learn how to maintain your home’s automatic sprinkler systems and make basic repairs.   Register here. »

:: Lawn Care Maintenance ~ September 7, 2017
Proper lawn care is a key component to a healthy lawn. This program covers basic lawn maintenance best practices as well as selecting the right turf grass to improve the health and longevity of your landscape. This class will teach you how to maintain your landscape using less water, fertilizers and pesticides, too. Register here. »

:: Composting ~ October 5, 2017
This program teaches the benefits of different types and methods of composting.  Register here. »

:: The Edible Landscape ~ November 2, 2017
Why water and mow what you can’t eat? Utilizing areas in your landscape to grow edibles is a way to add food on your table and reduce your grocery bill. This program teaches you how to incorporate edible plants into your home garden and landscape. You will learn how herbs, fruits and vegetables can add to the colors and textures of your permanent landscape combining both aesthetics’ and functionality.  Register here. »


All seminars will take place at:

Fort Worth Botanic Garden
3220 Botanic Garden Blvd. ~ Inside the Iris Room

Do note, that while seminars are FREE, they do require pre-registration as there are limited seats — given on a first come, first serve basis.


Enjoy and Share!  :)


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FREE Water Smart Landscape and Gardening Seminars in Fort Worth

Bookmark and Share

FREE Fort Worth Water Smart Irrigation and Landscape Seminars

The Fort Worth Water Department, in partnership with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, is hosting a series of FREE water smart landscape and gardening seminars. These classes are offered monthly at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and will equip you to make educated decisions in your landscape as well as make efficient use of watering and irrigation technologies.

:: Gardening for Wildlife ~ August 4, 2016
Native and Adaptive plants are not only beautiful water efficient additions to your landscape, but they can be useful tools to attract beneficial wildlife as well. Learn ways to attract and provide urban habitat for butterflies, song birds, hummingbirds, bees, and other animals that bring your landscape to life with activity!  Register here. »

:: Landscape and Tree Maintenance ~ September  7, 2016
Wondering when to prune your trees and ornamental grasses? Should I mulch in the spring, fall or both? Learn the right time to maintain your landscape and trees to ensure the health, production and aesthetics. Register here »

:: Rain Gardens ~ October 12, 2016
Standing water or erosion a problem in your landscape? A rain garden may be your answer! Homeowners and businesses will learn how to design, construct, and maintain a rain garden. Plant list provided.  Register here. »

:: Container Gardening ~ November 3, 2016
Looking to add a little color or texture to your front entry or back patio? Container gardens can be a great way to give a little curb appeal or jazz up a back patio. This program teaches how to prepare and install a container garden. You will learn how to prepare the container, prepare the soil, and install a well-planned mix of annuals, perennials, and more. Register here. »


All seminars will take place at:

Fort Worth Botanic Garden in the Iris Room
3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.

Do note, that while seminars are FREE, they do require pre-registration as there are limited seats (given on a first come, first serve registration basis).


Enjoy and Share!  :)


Get Blog Updates Delivered By Email - FREE! Follow Us On Twitter! Subscribe to My Feed

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and button down the family finances?
Subscribe to Frugal in Fort Worth now. It’s FREE

..

amazon cookware save 50 off promo code
Linking to Amazon through our site helps support
Frugal in Fort Worth (bunches of thanks!)

2016 TEXAS TAX-FREE HOLIDAY for Energy Star Appliances, Lightbulbs, Ceiling Fans & More — Memorial Day Weekend, May 28-30

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Please share on Facebook or pass this along to anyone you know who might be in the market for new appliances, ceiling fans, air conditioners, clothes washers, or other Energy Star qualifying products (this can save them a bundle!)…even incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs receive tax-free status this weekend!

This Memorial Day weekend (Saturday, May 28 to Monday, May 30), Texas shoppers receive a break from paying sales tax on purchases of many energy-efficient products like fluorescent light bulbs, ceiling fans, and energy-star home appliances like refrigerators, washers, and more even energy-star rated college-dorm / compact-sized refrigerators qualify! This is an excellent way to get extra savings on any of the qualifying items, plus save on future energy costs too.

The energy-star products qualifying in 2016’s tax-free weekend include:

  • Refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less
  • Ceiling fans
  • Incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs
  • Clothes washers
  • Dishwashers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Air conditioners priced at $6,000 or less
  • Delivery, shipping, and handling for any of these items are also excluded from tax!

The 2016 sales tax holiday begins on Saturday, May 28, and ends on Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day Weekend).

ENERGY STAR logo

Qualifying products will need to display the ENERGY STAR logo which will appear on the appliance, the packaging, or the Energy Guide label. The discount also applies to delivery and installation fees and  there is no limit to the number of qualifying items one can purchase during this sales tax holiday.

:: To find out more, go to the Texas comptroller’s site, here.

Enjoy and Share!  :)

 

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and button down the family finances?
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..

amazon cookware save 50 off promo code
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FREE Water Smart Landscape, Gardening, and Irrigation Seminars in Fort Worth

Bookmark and Share

FREE Fort Worth Water Smart Irrigation and Landscape Seminars

The Fort Worth Water Department, in partnership with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, is hosting a series of FREE water smart landscape and gardening seminars. These classes are offered monthly at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden (inside at the Iris Room, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.) and will equip you to make educated decisions in your landscape as well as make efficient use of watering and irrigation technologies.

:: Hungry in the City, the Urban Harvest ~ April 7, 2016
The city is full of food ripe for the picking. Learn how to identify (and legally acquire) more traditional foods like edible fruits, nuts and naturalized vegetables, as well as wild edibles, edible flowers and even edible weeds that are well adapted to North Texas neighborhoods. Register here. »

:: Lawn Care Maintenance ~ May 5, 2016
Is the green in your lawn weeds or grass causing you headaches? Do you have brown circles in your yard? Proper lawn care maintenance is a key component to a healthy lawn. This program covers basic lawn maintenance practices and selecting the right turf grass to improve the health and longevity of your landscape. You will learn how to maintain your landscape using less water, fertilizers and pesticides.   Register here. »

:: Shade Gardening ~ June 2, 2016
Shaded out? Do you have areas in your landscape where nothing grows because there is not enough sunlight? Come learn a new way to landscape for the shade.  Register here. »

:: Drip Irrigation ~ July 7, 2016
Water slower, deeper and more efficient with every drop. Convert your spray heads and watch your sprinkler system save you money from our drip conversion class. You will learn how to install drip irrigation tubing from your faucet or how to convert an existing zone to drip. Drip irrigation is the most efficient irrigation method and essential to sustainable landscapes. Drip irrigation for foundation watering will also be covered.  Register here. »

:: Gardening for Wildlife ~ August 4, 2016
Native and Adaptive plants are not only beautiful water efficient additions to your landscape, but they can be useful tools to attract beneficial wildlife as well. Learn ways to attract and provide urban habitat for butterflies, song birds, hummingbirds, bees, and other animals that bring your landscape to life with activity!  Register here. »

:: Landscape and Tree Maintenance ~ September  7, 2016
Wondering when to prune your trees and ornamental grasses? Should I mulch in the spring, fall or both? Learn the right time to maintain your landscape and trees to ensure the health, production and aesthetics. Register here »

:: Rain Gardens ~ October 12, 2016
Standing water or erosion a problem in your landscape? A rain garden may be your answer! Homeowners and businesses will learn how to design, construct, and maintain a rain garden. Plant list provided.  Register here. »

:: Container Gardening ~ November 3, 2016
Looking to add a little color or texture to your front entry or back patio? Container gardens can be a great way to give a little curb appeal or jazz up a back patio. This program teaches how to prepare and install a container garden. You will learn how to prepare the container, prepare the soil, and install a well-planned mix of annuals, perennials, and more. Register here. »


All seminars will take place at:

Fort Worth Botanic Garden in the Iris Room
3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.

Do note, that while seminars are FREE, they do require pre-registration as there are limited seats (given on a first come, first serve registration basis).


Enjoy and Share!  :)


Get Blog Updates Delivered By Email - FREE! Follow Us On Twitter! Subscribe to My Feed

Want to keep up with fresh ways to save money
and button down the family finances?
Subscribe to Frugal in Fort Worth now. It’s FREE

..

amazon cookware save 50 off promo code
Linking to Amazon through our site helps support
Frugal in Fort Worth (bunches of thanks!)