Floor to Heaven

Are your rugs ready for Thanksgiving guests? If not, Rug Doctor's hotline can offer cleaning suggestions.

Home and garden checklist

Published: Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 6CALIFORNIA LIFE


Is your carpet ready for company? That question is on the minds of a lot of holiday hosts – especially with Thanksgiving only five days away.

According to a recent consumer survey conducted by Edelman Berland, more than half of consumers are worried about the cleanliness of their carpets before hosting an event during the holiday season.

It's not just a concern before the guests arrive. Mixing family, friends and food is the perfect recipe for stains.

To help ease that stress, Rug Doctor has launched its national Holiday Hotline to help consumers combat carpet or upholstery cleaning emergencies. Open through Feb. 1, the Rug Doctor hotline will offer free advice for stain-removal and cleaning tips.

"We will be there for customers to assist them with carpet or upholstery-cleaning problems they may experience throughout the holiday season," Rug Doctor's Lauren McCann said. "We know the holidays can be a stressful time, and our goal is to help ease stress so customers can enjoy their family and friends – not worry about stains on their carpet or upholstery."

Experts will be available every day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at (800) 784-3628.

Ask for the Rug Doctor Holiday Hotline.

Rug Doctor, which rents more than 4 million carpet cleaners annually through supermarkets and home-improvement centers, also offers stain-fighting advice – from butter to wine – on its website as well as lots of tips from cleaning pros.

Go to www.rugdoctor.com.


If you haven't already, it's time to clean up the remains of summer. Pull faded annuals and vegetables. Prune dead or broken branches from trees.

To help prevent leaf curl, apply a copper fungicide spray to peach and nectarine trees after they lose their remaining leaves this month. Leaf curl, which shows up in the spring, is caused by a fungus that winters as spores on the limbs and around the tree in fallen leaves. Sprays are most effective if applied now. Choose a fungicide with at least 50 percent copper.

For larger blooms, pinch off some camellia buds.

Plant spring bulbs such as daffodils, Dutch iris, hyacinths, ranunculus, sparaxis, watsonia, freesia and tulips. Overplant with winter annuals such as pansies and violas.

In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, bok choy, Swiss chard, garlic, leaf lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio, radishes, shallots and spinach.

Set out transplants for broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce and peas.

For flowers, plant seeds for California and other poppies, cornflower, larkspur and sweet peas.

Turn off the automatic sprinklers or reduce watering cycles. Unless you recently reseeded the lawn, that grass needs little extra irrigation during cooler, wetter weather. Run the sprinklers for other plantings when the ground dries out or to irrigate recent transplants. Too much fall and winter water can lead to root rot and other problems.

– Debbie Arrington

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