Washington Post file

The Dyson Animal is designed to pick up pet hair.

Home and garden checklist

Published: Saturday, Jun. 22, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 9CALIFORNIA LIFE


Does summer have you sneezing? This season brings out lots of allergens – indoors and out. Here are some tips to beat the sniffles and sneezes, courtesy of Bissell:

• Dust hard surfaces at least once a week. Make sure to dust everything before vacuuming. The vacuum will pick up dust that has moved around once it's settled.

• Choose a vacuum with a good filter. The filter traps allergens and stores them safely between cleaning sessions.

• Dirt, dust and hair that irritate allergies easily get trapped in carpet fibers. Before vacuuming, use a carpet deodorizing powder (such as Febreze). Just sprinkle the powder on carpets, wait for a few minutes and vacuum as usual. Not only does the powder clean up to three times better than vacuuming alone, but it also leaves behind a light, fresh scent.

• Run the air conditioning unit. Besides keeping your home cooler, this will reduce moisture in the home and decrease the chances of mold forming.

• In the bedroom, use dust-proof mattress and pillow covers. Regularly wash bedding (including pads) to keep dust mites out.

• If you have young children who suffer from allergies, keep play rooms and bedrooms clutter free. Put toys in toy boxes when kids are done with them. Regularly wash favorite stuffed animals, especially ones kids may sleep with in bed, to prevent dust mites.


• Summer is really here. Help your garden cope with a layer of cooling mulch around plants. Keep the mulch at least an inch away from trunks or main stems to avoid crown rot.

• Some vegetables can still be planted now, including corn, lima beans, cucumbers, okra, parsnips, pumpkins, squash and watermelon. Make sure your seedlings stay hydrated. Seed for giant Halloween pumpkins should be planted in late June or early July.

• In the flower garden, plant seeds for alyssum, celosia, marigold, periwinkle, sunflower and zinnias.

• Cut back Shasta daisies after flowering to promote a second bloom in fall.

• Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants. Make sure to water well before fertilizing.

• Pinch back mums for more blooms this fall.

– Debbie Arrington

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