Tips to enhance your patio experience

June 30, 2015

Whether you're looking for an aesthetic upgrade, to reduce rust or rid your patio of mosquitoes, these tips should help improve your patio experience.

Tips to enhance your patio experience

For the aged look

Want to make a new patio look like it's been around for a while? Whip up a mixture to paint on brick or stone walls or some of your masonry or terra cotta patio planters. First, though, you'll have to go in search of moss and collect a few patches to use as a starter.

Make your own moss

A handheld blender works best to puree this mixture, but a long whisking session will do the job in a pinch.

  • 225-350 grams (8–12 ounces) of moss
  • 350 grams (12 ounces) of beer
  • 2.5 grams (.5 teaspoons) of sugar
  1. Put 225-350 grams (8–12 ounces) of moss in a pail.
  2. Add beer and sugar and puree the mixture until smooth.
  3. Using a paintbrush, spread the mixture about .5 centimetre (.25 inch) thick on masonry planters on the areas you want to mossify. The moss should appear in four to seven days.

Bubble away rust

If you have a concrete patio and metal furniture is leaving rust stains, try this: Pour full-strength white vinegar on the stains, top the puddle with a little baking powder and leave it for about 10 minutes before wiping it off with an absorbent cloth. Older rust stains may need two or three more applications before they disappear.

Veg out mosquitoes

To stop mosquitoes and other insect larvae from breeding in birdbaths or rainwater barrels, put a few drops of vegetable oil on top of the water. The oil spreads to form a film over the surface, ensuring that mosquito larvae won't be able to breathe through the water surface. Renew the oil every week through the summer. Light mineral oils also work but can make the water unsafe for avian and human consumption.

Herbal mosquito repellents

Steep pennyroyal or fleabane leaves in hot water and let sit for four to six minutes. Strain the solution into a spray bottle and spray on patio plants to repel mosquitoes. Or do the same with garlic. Simply simmer eight to 10 peeled garlic cloves in 500 millilitres (two cups) of cooking oil for about an hour. Cool, strain into a spray bottle and shpritz away.

You'll enjoy spending more time on your patio now that you have these handy tips to help you ramp up the pleasure factor in your outdoor space.

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